Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twig Bundle Fire

The ability to make a fire is an essential and useful skill, especially for anyone that spends any time hiking or out in the woods. Exposure is the leading killer for lost travelers and hikers. The ability to make a fire to warm the body is invaluable. When I head out into the woods I usually have at least two match safes with me, with sandpaper glued to the outside for quick and easy igniting; a flint/steel set; and several other items including cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly.

I was in Springfield NH for a few days visiting family, and I made sure to spend some time out in the woods with my camera. While I was out there I stopped and made a little twig bundle fire-

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Arethusa Falls on Christmas Day

My fiancee and I spent a few days in the White Mountains, on Christmas we hiked up to Arethusa Falls. Christmas day was grey and cloudy, but the day before was a clear blue sky, which made for a beautiful drive through the Kancamangus.
Arethusa is a popular ice-climbing spot in the winter and a popular summer hike year-round. Most estimates put the falls somewhere between 15o' - 200' long.

The trail up Arethusa was well packed, so there was no need for snow shoes. We periodically heard the intimidating sound of ice breaking and crashing down from the nearby Frankenstein Cliffs. The falls were frozen solid, with many tracks up to the falls, though no one was climbing, we had the spot to ourselves, it was very calm and peaceful. We did pass a small group of people on the descent. Both of these photos were taken by Jacqui with her 18-250mm Tamron lens.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowshoeing in Springfield

A clearing in the forest. One of my favorite spots to visit.

I went home (Springfield NH) for the weekend and had the chance to spend a few hours snowshoeing with a good friend and my dogs in the woods I spent years exploring while growing up there. The conditions were great for tracking, there was thin dusting of snow that fell the evening before, on top of a thick crust of snow. I love observing the winter traffic in the forest, it always seems like such a bustling place! There were a great deal of turkey tracks (saw quite few of the birds on two different occasions while out there), squirrel, grouse, mice, deer, hare, and a few coyote or fox.

turkey tracks (above)

snowshoe hare (ab0ve)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Autumn Sunset

I haven't had too much time with my camera in the last couple of weeks because of exams, work, and were are in the process of moving out of our apartment. But I usually have my camera nearby, so on my drive home from work last Friday I pulled over twice to snap a few quick shots of the exciting sunset.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quick Foliage Photos

I never really had the chance get out much this autumn to get some foliage photos as much as I had hoped. But I did manage to pull my car over a few times when I couldn't resist getting a better look at some of the trees in the area, particular as I drive through Dover.
So below are a couple of random photos of a few of the nice trees.

This is at the corner Locust St (Above).

On a cloudy day, off Washington St. Probably past it's prime, but in the sunlight it is truly breathtaking (Above).

The one above is from Wagon hill, some of the oaks (not as dazzling as the red maples in the wetlands three weeks ago)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wandering Around Wagon Hill

This past Sunday I spent a couple of hours exploring the trails and forest around the Wagon Hill conservation area off Route 4. The conservation area reaches past the hill to the forest and wetlands along Great Bay. I spotted a great blue heron in the stream which cuts through the marsh into the bay.

Nearly all of the red maples have dropped their vibrant red leaves by now, especially the most colorful examples throughout the wetlands. But many of the oaks are very colorful still.
Below is a shot from the point which juts out into great bay.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Portsmouth Patterns

It's been way too long since my last post. While I have been out with my camera, I haven't been out nearly as much as I would like.
Here are a few shots I took in Portsmouth two weeks ago or so, I was interested in the many different patterns along the ground.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vibrant Green

I took this photo last week during a walk in the woods, the green stood out for me, with the sunlight hitting it, especially among the darker hemlock and other deciduous leaves colors changing and dropping.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sunlight Spider

I found this spider in college woods a few days ago, it almost seemed as if it was clinging on for dear life as the seasons change and winter begins to slowly creep in.
The image didn't come out as sharp as I hoped, I probably rushed the shot too much as I tried to catch it in the sunlight, while it briefly poked through the thick forest canopy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chapman's Landing

My wetland ecology class visited the riverine salt marsh at Chapman's Landing in Stratham NH off 108. It is alongside the Squamscott River, a beautiful spot with all sorts of interesting plants and animals such as ribbed mussels and common glasswort, a vibrant red succulent plant. Below is a view of a portion of the marsh. I have developed a new appreciation for wetlands as I learn more about them. Not only do they provide essential ecosystem services such as water filtration, and can act as a storm buffer on the coast, but they are also beautiful and full of interesting natural wonders.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fog at Dusk

Over the weekend Jacqui and I drove back from central NH, there seemed to be fog all over the southeastern part of the state, this is off route 155, next to UNH's Kingman Farm.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Red Eft

I was at Harvard Forest, in Petersham Massachusetts, recently for work, I found this eastern newt (in the red eft stage) underneath a basket used for collecting foliage. They can live up to 12-15 years in the wild, and spend a couple of years in the red eft terrestrial juvenile stage before returning to the water in the aquatic adult stage.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Burlington VT

I was in Burlington Vermont for a couple of hours a few weeks ago and had the chance to snap a few photos. It's a really neat city, I look forward to getting back there for a longer visit some time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge

On Saturday, Jacqui and I visited Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newington/Portsmouth area of NH. It it is part of what once use to be Pease Air Force Base (where there are now twenty-something superfund sites), it is an important bird migration habitat, and has some very beautiful forest and wetland habitats.

The ferns on the left are starting to turn yellow as winter is approaching, it was a very warm and pleasant autumn day. The spores (all the black dots) are clearly visible.

Below is gorgeous little red dragonfly, which was constantly flying and hunting around the edge of the wetland, often stopping and pausing on the ferns, tree barks, and my t-shirt.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a BIG spider

Last week on my birthday I found some time to take a short walk in college woods. I went by what I call the 'turtle log,' a white pine that fell into the oyster river, I nearly always find painted turtles soaking up the sun on the old tree. I once counted eleven or twelve turtles on it at one time. It is a very popular spot, however it is exceptionally difficult to sneak up on to get a decent photo, since the brush is very thick, the slightest noise sends the turtles plopping into the water, a comical sight. They scoot a little bit and then roll off and fall into the water with a splash and are out of sight in an instant.
I walked out onto the log, the few turtles that were on it had already fled. I was just exploring, and hoping to be fortunate enough to spot one in the water. As I walked back down the log toward the shore area after exploring, I caught my breath as I spotted a huge spider on a little shrub, a shrub which I brushed past as I walked onto the log. I was clearly unaware of my surroundings to have missed such a beast. The spider was perched along it's nest or web, a cluster of leaves woven together. With it's legs stretched out it was undoubtedly close to the size of my palm (what does it eat, chipmunks?). I snapped a few photos, but there is not much of a scale in the photo to the right, but it was easily the largest spider I have seen in years.

first day of autumn and a hawk along 155a

Yesterday as I was driving along 155a, I noticed this beautiful hawk perched above a field that was in the process of being hayed. It was probably 30 ft up in the tree or so, I used my Tamron telephoto lens to capture this image.
Today is the official beginning of autumn, and the last few weeks have certainly felt like fall was starting, it has been great weather. Comfortable breezy days with chilly nights perfect for sleeping. Throughout the seacoast, the red maples which are especially stressed in wetlands have turned a vibrant red, a foreshadowing of what will happen as the chlorophyll breaks down in the rest of the decidous trees throughout new england.
Below is a photo I took a year or two ago wandering through college woods. I will have to upload some foliage photos this season.

Saturday, September 12, 2009!

For my birthday, my fiancee, Jacqui made a personal website for my photography. Check it out here-

It is not finished, but she has done an incredible job, learning how to code in flash. I still have a bunch more photos to add and some other features, but it looks really sharp.

Foliage in a Jar

These jars are filled with ground-up foliage samples. They remind me of herbs or spices. I took these at the lab I work at on campus, which focuses on forest ecosystem research. I really enjoy the pattern of the jars, filled with the earth-tone colors. The colors tend to vary depending upon where the samples originate from, the species, and the time of year they were collect (alive or dead, conifer or deciduous). I probably ground hundreds of these samples before I really noticed the beauty. I wanted to photograph samples like these for ages, and I finally had my chance last week when I had my camera with me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two Nights in the Whites

Last weekend I spent two nights out in the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the White Mountain National Forest with my twin brother and one of my best friends. It was a beautiful week with amazing weather. Both nights the moon was close to full with a sky clear, it was sometimes difficult to sleep it was so bright!
Above is the Pemi River in the morning. Below is our pasta dinner cooking the second night.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Walk in Prescott Park

I photographed this bee and spider while Jacqui and I explored the gardens at Prescott Park last weekend. I would have more shots with the macro lens, but Jacqui was busying using it ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dover Sunset

The other night after work, there was this amazing sunset. I went over to Garrison Hill Tower, a public observation tower on the tallest hill in Dover. On a clear day, it commands quite a panoramic view of the seacoast and southeast NH. The more commercial area of Dover and Somersworth is visible in the photo below, as well as the blinking red lights of a cell tower or two.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Last week Jacqui and I went to Prescott Park in Portsmouth. We arrived later than we had hoped, but there was still just enough light to use fast shutter speeds to freeze the water. I used my fixed 50mm for this shot. Jacqui captured some very nice images (better than this grainy shot), I will see about putting some up.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mirror Lake

This "Mirror Lake" I collected samples from in (early July) Whitefield is not as famous as the one by the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.

Rain Drops

The REU program ended this past week, so I am back in Dover. We had a big rain storm yesterday. I snapped a couple of shots-

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Leaf Margin

A few weeks ago I shot this photo of the edge of a beech leaf. Summer sunlight passing through striped maple and beech leaves is one of the most beautiful sights in the summer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monroe and Washington

Last weekend the REU crew and I went up Mt Monroe and Washington. I collected samples at Lakes of the Clouds. It was easily one of the most beautiful days we have had this summer.
To the right is shot of the cairns along the Crawford path.

We went up the Ammonoosuc ravine trail, and took the Crawford path to Washington, and the Jewell trail back down. It was great to be in the alpine area despite all the traffic. The summit of Washington is more like a mall than the top of a mountain, it is rather disconcerting.

To the right is a view of the Great Gulf Wilderness, as seen from the Jewell Trail. Spaulding Lake is the small body of water just visible on the bottom of the valley. I am sampling there tomorrow, and spending the night somewhere down there, and then heading up to Star Lake to collect a sample. My twin brother and a couple of friends are going to come along. It should be a fun two day hike.