Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Day - Part I

Monday's visit has too much good stuff to fit into one post, so make sure you come back tomorrow to catch the second half. I think you'll find the video alone makes the visit worthwhile.

While a big objective of this project is photographicall sharing the spirit of Great Meadows with you, another personal objective is to grow both creatively and photographically. With the leaves starting to fall and winter rapidly approaching I realized that I am rapidly running out of time to try out a couple of ideas.

I've dabbled in time lapsed photography at Great Meadows, with mixed success. I've wanted to capture a day at the refuge, but technical difficulties, or boring weather, or an imopundment choked with lotus plants have foiled my attempts. The forecast for Monday was going to be the perfect day, starting cool, sunny all day, but with a front moving in later in the day. So that's why you could find me a the refuge from before sunrise and not finally leaving until the sun dipped back below the horizon.

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Turn on your speakers and click on the photo to see the video. It finally captures the whole day in slightly over 1 minute. For some reason they weren't dredging the impoundment today, so it reflects a typical day at the refuge. (Musical accompaniment is "Playground" by Henry Adam Curtis)

Early morning at the refuge is special. In our noisy, fast paced world it is a place of relative quiet and solitude. The interaction of light and shadow, mist on the impoundment, the call of birds you can hear but not yet see, the bracing cool air tempered by the warming sun almost always make me delighted to have left my bed while it was still dark. I have mixed emotions. I wish more people could experience it, but at the same time know that the lack of people there make it special.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Want to see how the sun moves during the year. Go back to July when the sun was rising over the outflow of the lower impooundment. Today it is almost aligned with Hanscom.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Off for the early bird special

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Early light on foliage


There are a large number of Sparrows are busy along the sides of the dike, foraging and feeding. Birders can be found looking for less common variations (recently seen include Nelson's and Grasshopper Sparrows). I must confess that I have barely progressed past the LBB (Little Brown Bird) identification stage, though on occasion I have been able to identify a Savannah sparrow with their yellow streak. The most predominant variations are Swamp and Song Sparrows.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Swamp Sparrow

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Song Sparrow

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Swamp Sparrow


Wandering back long the railroad bed, I encountered this American Robin posing on a dead branch against as beautiful foliage backdrop. Walking down the Edge Trail, I saw the Hermit Thrush foraging along the path.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
American Robin

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Hermit Thrush

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111024 &emdash;
Hermit Thrush


Remember to mark you calendar to come back tomorrow for part two of this post.

3 comments:

  1. You were lucky to get the Hermit Thrush. I saw one at the Maintenance Shop at 11am on Monday. There is only one other October record and that was in 1999.
    Great time-lapse.

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  2. Love the timelapse...keep going with those. Great autumn bird portraits too.

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  3. I know that a primary rule of birding is: DO NOT ANTHROPOMORPHIZE!!!! But that hermit thrush is nothing but CUTE! Thank you for the photo. Makes me glad that there's a refuge for it from the squawk and traffic of so many other places.

    (Now I'm going to back up and listen to the music.)

    Ruth

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