When You Grow Up In Apartment 5E

When you grow up in Apartment 5E with a view of parking lots (and the distant Throgs Neck Bridge) you miss a lot. My joke, told often: Until I was 21 I had never seen grass that wasn’t in a baggie.

Call me nature challenged!

Now I live in the woods. I am the guardian of dozens of trees and more traditional grass.

This time of year I look up a lot. With flowering bushes and lots of color it’s easy to miss what’s going on in the trees. Leaves are beginning to come out for the season.

Please tell me I wasn’t the only kid who never looked? I missed so much. I’m glad I look now, because the show is amazing.

The first signs showed in March. Little nubs appeared on tree limbs. Now it’s obvious they’re leaves, but they’re still tiny and often curled tight for their own protection.

Like I said, I look up a lot. I never tire of this show.




Last Leaf Look

Not much outside time for me Sunday. I’m still using the weekends to rest my legs/back from Monday through Friday.

Walking Doppler I noticed the trees are now bare. Wow, that happened quickly. A lot of Sandy involved in that project.

Last weekend, before the storm arrived, I shot some photos of what color remained. Yellow and mustard dominated in those waning days.

We Went To Kent (Photos)

The more I get into photography the more I realize I can’t just run-and-gun and be happy with my shots!

Here’s the best baker’s dozen from today’s trip into the Litchfield Hills. Looking back my only regret was not taking a tripod! The more I get into photography the more I realize I can’t just run-and-gun and be happy with my shots!

Though the photos are right below this text, they’re viewed better larger. Here’s a link to the larger full screen slideshow on Flickr.

We Went To Kent

It rained for the first half hour of our trip. Helaine gave me the evil eye you give the weatherman when he takes you sightseeing on a rainy day.

On TV I’ve been telling everyone how poorly the fall foliage is doing. I based that on reports from trusted sources, but I wanted to see for myself and get some photos of whatever it is we’re getting. This afternoon Helaine and I hopped in the Subaru and headed north.

We really didn’t start with a specific destination. I barked, “Kent, Connecticut” at the Google Navigation applet built in to my new phone and let it figure out the rest. The trip was estimated a little under 1:30 without stops. We stopped!

As we drove the back roads that lead from Hamden to Bethany I began to think, “Why the hell are we going all the way to the Litchfield Hills? It’s pretty countrified here… and pretty pretty!”

It was a right on Route 69 to 42 to 63 then north on Route 8.

Route 8 north of Waterbury is Connecticut’s prettiest divided highway, right? South of Waterbury it’s easily Connecticut’s most treacherous! What the hell were they thinking when they built that snake through the Naugatuck Valley?

It rained for the first half hour of our trip. Helaine gave me the evil eye you give the weatherman when he takes you sightseeing on a rainy day.

I knew hoped it would clear up as the Sun began to get a little lower in the sky. These were instability showers and they needed warmth at ground level to get going.

We passed some farms. I thought about pulling over, but not until it was too late. The same with a few medium sized lakes.

We were driving parallel to a small river, so I took a right onto Town Hill Road in Warren… maybe… I’m not sure… and pulled to the shoulder.

While Helaine waited I walked into the woods and down to the river bank. If the river’s got a name it’s not obvious on the maps I’m looking at&#185. A few trees were bare. Most still had leaves–mostly green and yellow with big dark spots indicative of the weather related problems that have dulled the foliage.

I got some shots and got back in the car.

By this time we were getting pretty close to Kent. I needed to commit.

We could visit the Kissingers? Maybe Seth MacFarlane’s boyhood home? Paul Leka, the guy responsible for “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” is up the road in Sharon in the Colgate Mansion (Note to self: Write iconic hit song. Achieve financial security. Lather. Repeat.). Of course I don’t know any of them.

By this time we were seeing signs for Kent Falls.

We made a right into downtown Kent, drove past the tourists scouring the antique shops and headed toward the falls. I’d heard of them. Until today I’d never been.

The stream begins in the town of Warren, draining an area of six or seven square miles. It then flows west to the big fall where it plunges approximately 70 feet in a dramatic cascade. From here the stream descends in a series of lesser falls and cascades to the valley, where it enters the Housatonic River some 200 feet below the brink of the big fall only a quarter mile away. Much of the limestone over which the brook flows has been carved into interesting shapes including numerous potholes of all sizes.

Even without a fiery color show the Kent Falls is spectacular. I walked a slippery trail up the right side, past the “This Area Closed To The Public” sign to a flat ledge at the base of the first fall. Knowing my (dead)cat-like reflexes I moved slowly with every muscle tensed.

I started with single shots then decided to try some three shot clusters for HDR processing.

We continued north on Route 7 stopping briefly at a farmer’s field on the west side of the road. More HDR shots. Disappointing. I thought the vantage would be better.

Route 7 crosses the river as it continues northward toward Lakeville and the Berkshires. We stopped at the foot of the covered bridge that leads to West Cornwall.

By this time it was getting dark. HDR photography isn’t understanding of noisy pictures taken at high ISO settings nor the shake that comes from a slow shutter. I had a monopod which helps. Bringing my tripod would have been better. It is what it is.

All-in-all I hit the shutter 270 times. Many of those are duplicates or in the case of HDR sets triplicates. I’ll spend the rest of the evening editing them and post a few tomorrow.

I’m tired, sore and glad we went!

&#185 -In the comments Mike A. reveals it is Waramaug Brook AKA Sucker Brook. So now we know!