For the past five years, my favorite, workhorse lens has been my Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. It is still an excellent, tack sharp lens, but on my last trip, I realized it needed some TLC so when I got home, I sent it to Nikon to be brought back to specs. In the past year or so, Nikon introduced a new 24-70mm lens with a vibration reduction feature, something my old lens does not have and with reports that it is even sharper than my old lens. So, I bought the new lens and will sell the old one when it comes back from Nikon. On Tuesday afternoon, I wandered around my yard taking images with the new lens. This Winsome blossom, with all of the petals on one side missing, caught my attention. While I was photographing it, what I think to be a paper wasp was drawn to it briefly. I’m not sure I’m happy about a paper wasp in the vicinity, but so far, the lens is living up to my expectations.
My purple salvia plants continue to attract birds and bees and Monday afternoon, even a female Cabbage White (pieris rapae). I seem to be in a rut with fifty-year old top-ten hits coming to mind when I take a photograph of bugs, no less. Yesterday's was the Beatles, today's, Sugarloaf's Green-Eyed Lady which immediately came to my mind when I looked through the viewfinder to see the alien-looking green eyeball of this small white butterfly. I double-checked and discovered that the Cabbage White female has yellowish underwings with black speckles just like in this photograph so the title of the blog fits…well, maybe not the 'lovely lady" part.
Lens: 105 mm (micro)
Exp. Comp.: -0.7
I don’t think the salvia blossom was singing Hold Me Tight, one of the Beatles’ very early releases on their first US album Meet the Beatles, but the honeybee was certainly holding on to it.
Focal Length: 105mm (Micro lens)
Exp. Comp.: -1.0
There were pockets of stunning fall color in Vermont last week but, as we overheard some locals talking at breakfast yesterday, the lack of frost has kept the intense reds from developing this year. Still there was beauty to be seen. And the trees were so gorgeous we didn’t mind that the entire forest wasn’t deep red because the yellows and oranges made up for the lack of red.
On the way to Manchester, VT, home of the American Museum of Fly Fishing, we stopped on a bridge that crossed the Battenkill River to admire the view. The Battenkill River is one of Vermont’s premier fly fishing rivers. We saw no fly fishermen on the river that morning but when I texted my brother, who is a fly fisherman, about the presence of the American Museum of Fly Fishing, he told me that my Dad, who was also an avid a fly fisherman, had a role in establishing the museum when he was involved with the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturer’s Association in 1968. Unfortunately, priorities prevented our visiting the museum on this trip. The priority you ask? Breakfast at “Up for Breakfast” in Manchester. I used the Vivid setting on my camera along with a polarizer on the lens to capture the gorgeous fall colors.
As the cold air touched the warmer surface of Echo Lake near Plymouth, VT early Thursday morning, the mist it created swirled seductively. It caught our attention and we pulled over to enjoy its beauty.
Vermont is maple sugar country. Sap from maple trees is boiled down to syrup in sugar shacks. This ramshackle sugar shack appeared to be out of service when we visited but the other side of this building was piled high with logs ready to stoke the fires if needed.
Our first full day to see fall colors in Vermont’s premier ski region, Killington, started off with a bang, shortly after 7 AM Tuesday morning. We didn’t actually hear the bang. We had just arrived at Kent Pond and were starting to set up our gear when Jonathan, the newbie in the group that included Emerson, me, and of course, Moose, heard the tell tale hiss of a tire losing air. The right rear tire of our Ford Expedition was quickly losing pressure so we aborted our plans, loaded back into the Expedition and we hissed and hustled down the road to Rutland, about 15 miles away. We found a Midas Auto shop that had just opened and could fit us in immediately. By 9AM we were back at Kent Pond.
We seem to have hit perfect fall colors just as they peak this week. It’s fascinating to see the differences in microclimates depending on modest changes in direction and elevation. But, Vermont’s state tree, the sugar maple, takes front and center with the leaves ranging from brilliant yellow to vibrant orange to deep crimson.
This warty gourd caught my attention.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.” Truer words were never spoken, especially when they refer to Bartlett Pears. Despite the gorgeous color of the Bartlett’s peel which can range from lemon yellow to a blushing peach color, and which seems to be a false indication of lusciousness, more often than not, one minute they are hard, the briefest moment they are juicy and delicious, and, in the blink of an eye, mushy and almost inedible. I don’t find the same is true of d’Anjou or Comice pears which seem always to be lucious and I never eat Bosc pears raw but Bartlett’s are so tricky I rarely buy them. It is the peak of Bartlett season, though and I bought a bag, most of which so far seem to be at their “ten minute” peak of perfection.