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images from the protected open spaces of marion



this is also from my walk around the golf course that day under threatening skies...

the prevailing summer southwest winds have really made a difference on these trees!



the tropical downpours that are slated to drench us for the next 2 days reminded me of the afternoon a few months ago when i was out shooting the Little Marion Public Golf Course for yet another part of the SLT accreditation application.  the SLT holds the Conservation Restriction on the golf course.  the deadline was fast approaching and my schedule was tight so that day was the chance i had.  humidity was horrible, sweat from my brow dripped onto the camera when shooting, and hiking the course in record time with a camera backpack was a hot and drenching task!  of course the golfers were out too so i did have company!

and last weekend the SLT was one of the first 39 lands trusts in the nation to be accredited by the Lands Trust Alliance!!



broad-leaved cattails, Typha latifolia if my id is correct - can grow to 9 feet tall!  and being 5'4" these are very intimidating to me.  i feel like a bushwacker trying to get through them!  this is the marsh between the river and the upland woods of Beaton CR.  the river is over to the left behind the trees, curving to the right.  i am definitely in over my head!



Beaton Bog CR has a bit of everything...this stand of trees has the river bending around behind it, and is surrounded by marsh.  the colors of fall are just beginning to touch us here, the marsh goldenrod in flower and a few golden red leaves indicate that this is fall.

today is the official first day of fall...



that morning last fall that i wandered the Beaton CR was a glorious friday morning. i took the berry water foam shot posted below when i crossed the working bogs, and then went on through an upland wooded area, downhill and across a marsh of reed and marsh grasses, through another brief strip of woods, and at last the river marsh and the river itself.  the corner of the property is up by the rt. 195 Sippican River crossing.  headed eastbound, look to your right, and there it is.  in the marshland a few yards away from the river is this tidal pool whose edge is so brilliantly decorated with the colors of fall!



it's that time of the year now, the berry harvests have started!  the bogs are in the process of being flooded for harvest. all that water missing from the previous image has been drained into the berry bog itself, in order to float the berries for harvest.  the SLT holds the conservation restriction for the Beaton Bogs, between Point Road and the Sippican River, 246 acres of bogs, upland forest, riverfront land, a freshwater pond, and, of course, wetlands.  like the White Eagle bogs these too have been worked successfully for many years.



one would think the grand landscape would be hard to find here in marion, at least in the sense of the american west.  however, there is at least one open space where a wide open vista is still possible....

i took this last fall, when the water was low from summer heat and bog drainage.  this is the northeast pond that feeds the working bogs of the white eagle property.  the cranberry bogs were started there in the 1920's and have been worked continuously since, very successfully.  in maps of marion from the last half of the 19th century this area was called "rocky bog".  the huge boulders piled nearby, dug out to build the bog, are a testament to that name.



the next afternoon after i took "tree arch" i returned to the Radio Tower property.  the day before i had spotted a few things i wanted to explore further, including a load of fiddleheads just up past the tree arches in that shot.  it was very dark were they grew, on the banks of wetland under a canopy of trees, and they were a challenge to isolate and get good shots.  i recall slipping a few times in the moistness while adjusting the tripod :)

photographers love fiddleheads...who can resist these guys??



i love a good tree image!

this was shot in late march while on a walk along the old railroad bed which borders and cuts through several of our properties.  i love that time of year when the evergreens are the only striking color, no competition.  winter is just about done, and spring is a promise...i spotted this composition opportunity to the northeast of the railroad bed on our property, Barnabas Woods.  i can't resist a natural graphic challenge like this :)



one day in the spring i was wandering the eastern end of our Radio Tower property.  it was late afternoon, and i was leaving the area (with still a mile or so to my car)  when i felt the sky darkening around.  i looked back over my shoulder and saw the colors of the sky and the glow of the woods and the trail below.  not one to miss the opportunity, i quickly set up the tripod and got off some shots.  i was putting it all away again when the shower hit :)

and now that i mention that, i want to retitle this "spring shower"...



mid-afternnoon one day last spring i knew i had to get out and celebrate spring somehow.  i decided to visit Kenney's Landing, on the banks of the Sippican River, and watch the river flow...i became mesmerized by the whirlpools forming and moving along the water, constantly evolving, building up to become a rather large swirling vortex, and then being disintegrated by the currents...and that lovely late afternoon, woods-filtered light, and loads of rich color...

it was spring, and i never have a bad time at Kenny's Landing :)



the first job i had with the SLT was as the first steward of Stewart's Island :) i'm reminiscing about this because, since more stewards have joined me there, i have been reassigned to one of our larger properties, Mahoney C-R.  the island is accessible by foot at low tide in the summer, or more commonly by boat.  kayakers have the opportunity to circle the island at high tide.  job's cove, between the island and the mainland, is home to an osprey nesting pole and loads of birds and marine life.  i would go in my 13' whaler towing my avon, drop a hook just offshore, and row in the inflatable into the cove or to the shore and disembark.  i always enjoyed these excursions!

this image is from a year ago, almost to the day...



and this was the first choice because it has it all...but being vertical in a horizontal world was not going to flatter us, so we went with the Howland Marsh image - leaving in the treeline across the top to cover as many bases as possible :)

this was shot at sunrise on the summer soltice, 2005 at the shore of the Brainard Marsh.  the cover for the 2006 SLT Portraits calendar was shot a few minutes later in this same session...the light was very special that morning and i am very fond of the results of that time!




this is Sparrow's Mill which was in business in the early 1900's and run by the Sparrow Brothers.  not much left now as you can see, but it does have historical value and an archeological team has worked the site at least once a few years ago.  unfortunately the stream is not included here, and without the water this doesn't represent the SLT well as a single image.  still, a good image :) even if i did take it in 2005!



ok i have managed to confuse the issue...but here it is:

the image below is the version submitted to represent the SLT because this version includes the woodland border across the top, thus covering three key elements of our area - water, marsh, woods.  the version on the wall of the office has this border of trees cropped out.

for me this makes them 2 very different images...



just to complete the trio of prints hanging over the sofa is our new office, Sparrow's Mill, the stream in snowmelt, shot at the end of february this year when the water was high.  having spent the winter shooting the salt water in motion on the shore i was in the mood to do some more traditional rushing water shots.  a good excuse to go visit this property because there's a reason they chose to put a mill here 100 years and more ago!!

for this i pulled on my highest wading boots and put my wooden tripod in the water and got in and balanced my footing on the rocks :)  i love the effects a slow shutter speed can have on moving water, and bring out the flow and ferocity of it at the same time...



there are currently 3 framed images of mine on the wall of the new office.  the Howland Marsh one hangs on the left, and this one hangs on the right.  in my mind i call this one "choices" for obvious reasons.  i took this at the top of a ridge in the woods of one of our newest conservation restrictions, Mahoney C-R, where many trails seem to meet and move on, rather like finding a roundabout in the middle of nowhere!!  the property is 248 acres and contains a turtle nesting ground, and there is no easy access to it.


"one photo to rule them all"

we needed a photo to represent us at a easy task to pick just one!  what should be in it, and what shouldn't be in it (!).  there just isn't one to cover it all...but several good suggestions were made and explored.  our first choice was a vertical portrait-oriented one from Brainard Marsh which included water, marsh, and woods.  unfortunately we discovered only horizontal landscape-oriented ones were acceptable.  our second choice had some history in it, the ruins at Sparrow's Mill but none of the images included the stream, and i thought water was too important to our mission not to be in the shot, so we went to our third choice "late afternoon on Howland Marsh"...which was actually the first choice for two of us :) below is the image as printed and framed and on the wall of the office, but for philosophical - not artistic - reasons for the submission i went back to the original and left in the top border of treeline (cropped out in this version) so the upland would be visible.


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