A wintery walk

This past weekend we had a wonderful time with our friends at Plum Island. Plum Island is located in northern Massachusetts, near Newburyport. It is a barrier island and famous for birds. The last couple of years, a large population of snowy owls has been at Plum Island, and we had hoped to see some. When we got to Plum Island, the weather conditions were not conducive to birding, it was windy and cold, and most birds seem to have been sheltered somewhere. The exception were some seagulls, which didn’t seem to mind the wind or cold.

After driving down the road towards the southern tip of the island, we decided to walk along a beautiful trail, which led to the water on the side away from the ocean. The only birds we saw there were seagulls dropping clams on the rocks in an attempt to crack them open.

Much to my surprise, I was able to get a different perspective on a seagull.

While it was still windy, the sun started to break through the clouds and created a shimmering sheen on the water.

While we did not see any snowy owls as we had hoped for, we enjoyed the beautiful landscape, which is one of my favorite places.

On the way to work

For the last couple of months I have enjoyed using public transportation in order to go to work. It feels so good not having to drive on our congested highways here in the Boston area. Now I can take commuter rail and subway to get to work.

Naturally my environment has changed, and I am seeing new things, which is always exciting as photographer. When I have more time, I sometimes like to walk across the Longfellow Bridge, which connects Boston and Cambridge. Over the last couple of years the bridge has been completely restored and now looks very beautiful. The photos I am sharing today are of Longfellow Bridge.

Thanks for visiting our site,

Lars

Fall is in full swing

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After we had a very dry summer, I was curious how fall foliage would turn out this year. It is nearly impossible to accurately predict how the fall colors turn out in a given year, which is nice, since it leaves a room for surprises.

This past weekend, Kim and I were able to meet a close friend of ours at Echo Lake in Franconia Notch, in Northern New Hampshire. The fall foliage was spectacular.

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This year seems to be a great year after all, despite the drought we have had most of the summer.

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While we like to travel and enjoy places not so close to home, I am always eager to explore conservation areas close to home, which provide me with access for photography year round without far travel. I am still amazed when I am able to find new locations, which I have not visited too often.

Recently I discovered one such location, the former Canton Airport (Canton, MA). The airport was used during WWII and then shutdown in the 1950s. Since then, the land had not been in use. Due to polluted soil, it took the State of Massachusetts a while until the land could finally be used as State Park. Now it is a beautiful piece of land with marshes and trees and home to many species.

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The next photos are some impressions from the land. Fall colors have finally arrived here as well.

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The setting sun helped the trees glow even more. When I was getting ready to leave, I saw a huge outline of the moon over the fall tress.

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I immediately liked the lineup of the moon over the trees. I haven’t come across situations too many times where everything lines up perfectly like it did here.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Lars

Dinner time for a hawk

Not too far away from our house is the Blue Hills Reservation. One of my favorite places there is Houghton’s Pond, a beautiful pond that is open for swimming in the summer, too. I do enjoy the pond throughout the year, even when everything is frozen and bare trees cover the area.

Having bare trees was what drew our attention to a hawk that was sitting on a dead tree. After getting the hawk in focus with my long lens I noticed that the hawk was actually banded.

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After a couple of minutes the hawk took off, which looks very impressive.

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Surprisingly, the hawk landed on another branch even closer to us. By now, a little crowd had gathered around us, curious to see what we were looking at.

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“Our” hawk was now looking left to right and then, after another couple of minutes, suddenly took off and landed on the shore of the small wetland area. We heard a faint squeak. After a couple of moments the hawk flew back on the perch with its prey tightly gripped.

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I spare the gory details here of how not much was left of the mouse. In a final move, the hawk flew onto another perch, and there it seemed like it posed for me.

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We are grateful to observe nature so close to where we live and it is wonderful to see those majestic birds right here in our backyard.

Boston Flower Show 2014

Last week I had the pleasure to enjoy the Boston Flower Show with Kim. We always enjoy seeing flowers at the show while we are otherwise still waiting for spring to come. This show always makes us lookĀ  forward to spring.

Attached to this post are my favorite photos from the day. Please enjoy…

Thanks for stopping by,

Lars

A Storm

A couple of days ago my family went to a restaurant at Quincy Shore Drive for dinner. From this location one can see the skyline of Boston.

That evening a rainstorm was brewing over the ocean and we got to see it just before it started to rain.01

This experience taught me once again that there a beautiful places everywhere and one needs to be able to access them easily to enjoy special moments such as this.

Thanks for reading!

Lars

The Signs of Spring

 

Spring is finally here. Cherry and apple trees are in full blossom. I especially like to see wild trees in blossom in the forest that have not been planted by people. Last week I saw quite a few of these trees on a walk in the forest and enjoyed them very much. It is so beautiful to see a whole tree covered in pink or white blossoms. It reminds me that beauty can be found in unexpected places (middle of forests).

When photographing the trees, I wanted to highlight two things: their location and surrounding trees, as well as closeups of groups of blossoms.

Seeing these trees was an almost spiritual experience for me. I thought about how these trees blossom in the forest, attracting bees and other insects and how this beauty is there whether we humans see it or not.

Please enjoy what I found…

 

Winter is here – motives for photography are still abundant

Usually we get the first snow at the end of November or beginning of December at the latest. Last year and this year again, winter was in no rush. Two days ago, we finally got a significant amount of snow. Because it is cold enough, the snow is not melting right away any more.

Here are a couple of impressions from our neighborhood:

Winter light During winter, the sun is very low in the sky, which often creates beautiful warm light, even at a simple street corner.

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I like the way trees look like after snow has fallen. The snow often highlights branches and the tree trunk in a very nice way.

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At a local park, the texture of snow and the low sun light creates a beautiful winter scene. Every other time of the year it would be difficult to photograph straight into the sun, but in the winter it is possible without getting lens flare into the photo.

Photography in the winter months is definitely more challenging than any other time during the year. The daylight hours are much shorter. Trees have lost their leaves, and most plants and flowers are dormant. Overall it is a pretty desolate condition out there. In addition, it takes determination to be out there in the cold.

Unfortunately a lot of photographers miss the winter months. While there is not too much color out there (and our eyes get naturally drawn to color and color contrasts), there are still plenty of opportunities out there. The details that draw me to photography during the winter months are textures, sunlight in the landscape, and trees. Only during the winter months can we see the structure of tree branches.

Another photography opportunity during the winter months are beaches. In the summer and early fall lots of people are on the beach and it is difficult to photograph without getting people into the pictures. I also like to visit places in the off-season to see how they look like in cold weather or with snow on top.

Recently Kim and I went to Plum Island, which is a barrier island on the coast line North of Boston (Northshore). In the summer, it is sometimes difficult to get into the reservation, because so many people arrive already early. When we went there this month, we enjoyed the beautiful light over the marshes and the beaches.

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So, if you did not plan to be out there this winter, maybe this post can inspire you to check out some beautiful places in your neighborhood. I know there are beautiful places everywhere. They may not be as famous as the National Parks in the Southwestern USA, but the are not less beautiful.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the winter months,

Lars

Cape Cod sea shore

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Recently we decided to drive down to Cape Cod from Boston. In the summer we usually do not attempt to do this, because traffic is very heavy especially on weekends.

I like to visit the ocean and beaches in the off-season for photography, because there are fewer people on the beach, and I like to see how nature changes through the different seasons.

As you can see in my photos, the light was really beautiful. Besides us, a couple of seagulls, and a few other people, nobody was on the beach.

Seeing the clouds in the sky, and the waves gently breaking on the beach instilled in me such a feeling of peace and happiness. I am once again grateful for one of many beautiful spots that are so close within our reach that we can see them.

Thanks for stopping by! Lars

Beautiful locations: Schwaebisch-Hall, Germany

A couple of weeks ago on a business trip in Germany, I got up early for a walk before breakfast. The light was so beautiful on that morning, that I still fondly remember the walk along the river around the beautiful old (exposed wood frame) buildings.