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Old School Film Hack

Tag Archives: Nature

Mixed Emotions

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Blue hyacinths in the snow
Central Maryland (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Our latest winter storm blew through late this past Monday night, and the image above — taken the day before yesterday — is what it looks like after a lot of the snow has already melted.  The dichotomy is striking, but the damage to the blooms and buds in our area from the wintry mix of ice and snow — plus the unseasonably cold temperatures — is going to go deep this year.

Below is what this same plant looked like on March 5th last year.  Oh, and don’t think we couldn’t have more wintry weather yet this season; you can see more snowy images in the posts I shared of a very late winter storm back on March 30, 2014, both here and here.

Blue hyacinth on my way into work
Central Maryland (March 2016)
Sony RX1R II + Zeiss Sonnar 35/2.0

Continue Reading →

Hummers Thundering North

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Unreal.  The first Ruby-throated hummingbirds arrived in southern Texas back on February 24th — can you believe it?  I just hope that they don’t get hit with any unexpected cold snaps or snow.  Keeping track of their migration north helps to understand where things are blooming, as they can’t survive but a day or two without food.

Cue the Music… Here Come the Cherry Blossoms!

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Blooms on the indicator tree
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

I’ve heard since at least last week that the cherry blossoms in DC are on a tear and are already popping.  Uh… sorta yes and a lotta no. Continue Reading →

Winter Panoramas

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Looking south-southwest toward Kentucky and VirginiaSpruce Knob, West Virginia (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Looking south-southwest toward Kentucky and Virginia
Spruce Knob, West Virginia (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Last weekend we drove to West Virginia for a nature fix — our term for some rest and relaxation in the wilds.  First we tried the east entrance to Dolly Sods (closed), then the south entrance to Dolly Sods (closed), then the front entrance to Seneca Rocks (closed), the Seneca Rocks visitor center (closed), local national forest campground (closed), and finally the entrance to Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state.

It was open.  Yay! Continue Reading →

The New Normal?

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Daffodils are popping outCentral Maryland (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Daffodils are popping out
Central Maryland (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

The weather here in central Maryland has been out of the ordinary this winter… not much in the way of cold temperatures; no measurable accumulations of snow (yet); hardly any ice (the local ponds skimmed over for only a couple of days so far); the birds haven’t cleaned us out of seed; etc.

Definitely not “normal”. Continue Reading →

Video Link: Seasons of Norway

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Imminent Color

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Daffodils about to bloomCentral Maryland (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Daffodils about to bloom
Central Maryland (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

I don’t know how many degrees above normal our region has been during this winter, but we normally don’t see daffodils at this stage of growth for another month and a half at least.

Rorschach Abstract

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Exhibit at the National AquariumBaltimore, Maryland (January 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Exhibit at the National Aquarium
Baltimore, Maryland (January 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

I always had fun with Rorschach tests in college.  Depending on the specific test, I could generally find a dozen or more different things in them, especially if I was able to twist and turn the blots to look at them in different angles.  I find this image to be the same way.  Not all that interesting in color, but fascinating when converted to black and white, and then rotated. Continue Reading →

My Kind of Sundowner

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Watching the sunsetCentral Maryland (December 2016)Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Watching the sunset
Central Maryland (December 2016)
Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

We live near Washington, DC… but most people don’t realize that this region isn’t yet a megalopolis like other major urban centers; i.e., New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, etc.  The really dense areas of the DC region are generally contained within the 20-mile diameter of the Washington Beltway, although urban blight has slowly been creeping out to the suburbs and rural areas beyond since the mid-1970’s.  The small community where we live is in the middle of a designated agricultural zone, part of which you see in this image.

Will it remain this way forever?  Sadly, no. Continue Reading →

The Big Empty

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Big Hole ValleyJackson, Montana (October 2016)iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Big Hole Valley
Jackson, Montana (October 2016)
iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Butch Hill is the name of the short brown summit to the right of this frame; one of the summits to the far left in the distance is Bloody Dick Peak, so named for an Englishman that said “bloody” a lot, while living in the area during the 1860’s (I just learned this tidbit while researching place names for this post). Continue Reading →