I’m not naturally an early morning person, but it is rare that I’m upset when I see the sun rise. Sunday was one of my favorite sunrises ever. I was along Flagstaff Lake in Stratton, Maine, as the sun rose in a clear sky. Fog filled the mountains and hovered over the lake, which was fine by me.
I was on a narrow road that sliced through the water, so every direction I looked was water, mountains and fog. It was one of those times when there was so much to shoot I was running in circles to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I had cameras on two tripods and was firing away like a mad-man, literally screaming joy into the wind.
A couple of photos are posted here, you can see more over on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LorenFisherPhotography.
I drove back past where I photographed the bull moose yesterday, just hoping he might still be hanging around. He wasn’t. So I went to a beaver pond near Barnard, Vt., about a mile away. I photographed some cedar wax wings flying around the trees. I hung out for about an hour and a half but there wasn’t much going on. On the road I saw a candy wrapper, so I walked over to pick it up. I looked at the pond and beaver was swimming toward me. I went back to the Jeep to get the camera, but I feared my movement might scare it. The beaver turned around and twacked the water with its tail. I thought I was done, but it kept swimming around. It came closer to me and didn’t mind my presence. As it was going back and forth another one appeared. They both swam around in front of me for a while but I was blocked from clear shots by branches and weeds. They would pop into the open and I got a few shots I like.
I don’t care much for year-in-review stories and remembrances, so I thought I’d do mine. 2010 was a great year and I photographed many things for the first time. I’ve always wanted to see a bear, so I was thrilled when one came to visit Somerville. My friend Walter Choroszewski made it possible for us to visit Alaska for a near non-stop photo adventure. A neighbor in Woodstock, Vermont, gave me access to her family property to photograph the water, trees and vistas. It was a good year for weddings as friends and family got married. And I made a special effort to observe what is good in my life and looking back I can see there is plenty of goodness around when I take the time to look.
I finished my week in Vermont by driving some back roads and scenic highways on the way south. I took Route 100, which has to be one of the most scenic roads in the east. It runs the length of the state, from Massachusetts to within a few miles of Canada. The whole road has something to see. In South Londonderry, I drove down a small dirt road along the river where the water was running fast over rocks. Trees were showing some color, so I climbed out on rocks in the river and used a long shutter speed to make the water blurry. A fitting end to the trip, colorful and blurry.
See all of Loren’s Vermont fall foliage photos.
As the sun rose over the hills of Pomfret, Vermont this morning, I was overlooking the scene at “The Pinnacle,” which is a special place a neighbor is gracious enough to allow me to visit whenever I like. It was a clear morning and I got to the top about 30 minutes before the sunrise. It was about 38 degrees and the wind was blowing hard. I grabbed an extra coat as I left the house but it still was chilly. I could see for miles in every direction. Killington mountain is about 35 miles away and I could see the ski slopes.
I have been wanting to be at the top all week to see the sun light up the fall foliage on the hills and in the valley. The weather hadn’t cooperated until today. I was anxious to see how much damage the recent wind and rain had done. The foliage was nice and scenery is spectacular any time of year. I knew the North Pomfret Congregational Church would stand out among the trees. Since there hasn’t been a hard, killing frost, the red leaves are missing, so the scene wasn’t what I was hoping to see, but it is still very nice. There is always next year.
See Loren’s photos fall foliage photos this year.
The clouds and rain finally cleared this afternoon and I found a couple of new locations to photograph the fall foliage. I headed south from Woodstock to the town of Reading. Right on the border I saw this nice little farm tucked away on a small dirt road. I’ve driven past there many times but I hadn’t noticed it before. The light was right, so I stopped.
I like foliage reflected in water, so I headed for a pond I haven’t been to. It was nice but the foliage wasn’t good, so I drove north on a dirt road. I wasn’t seeing much until I popped out of the trees and headed up a hill. Off to the right was a spectacular view of the region. It was nearly a 180-degree view. There was a small house sitting in the perfect spot. I’d cut off my left pinky to live there. The sunrise must be incredible.
I was there over an hour waiting for the light to be right for the shot I wanted. There were lots of clouds and the shadows were bad most of the time. At one point I could see rain falling in the distant hills and the sun was shining on me. The light was constantly changing and made every picture look different.
When I got up this morning, there was a rather heavy fog covering Woodstock, Vermont. It happens fairly often in the fall, the fog seems to lay in through the valley that surrounds the village. Usually when I head east toward the Conneticut River, it gets worse. It isn’t the fun, pretty kind of fog, it is fairly high and pretty much just blocks the sun.
Today I went west and south hoping to escape the heavy fog. As I drove up some hills, I got away from the worst of the fog. As the sun was coming up shooting through the trees. I stopped along a dirt road for a nice scene and then came upon a farm on top of a hill.
There was a large barn and cows out in the field as misty fog floated in the hills. One of the cows was wanting to get in the barn and stopped to see what I was doing or she wanted to pose for some photos. Either way, she made some nice shots.
After I was done with the cows, I was standing along the road to see if the fog in the valley would make a photo. I thought being on a dirt road in the middle of Vermont would be lonely, but three other photographers showed up. They were nice and one, Judy Lombardi, is from Vermont and she was happy to tell me some other places that make nice photos.
I went to Fairview Farm in Far Hills again this morning to watch the sun rise. I went there last week after not being there for a few years. It is a great natural reserve and I spent four hours there this morning and was the only person around. The sunrise backlit a big leaf and really made the veins jump out..
It was a great week during my first trip to Alaska. Going there has been long my list of places to see for a long time. It is the 49th state I’ve visited, now I need to make my way to Hawaii.
Alaska is big. Real big. We drove over 2,200 miles during the week making a loop around the bottom third of the state. That’s like driving from New Jersey to Las Vegas. The borough of Mat-Su is the size of West Virginia.
I photographed critters I hadn’t before: bald eagles, golden eagles, sea otters, moose, sandhill cranes, Dall sheep, coyote and even a pocupine. There was scenery that can’t be described. The mountains are majestic and the valleys wide. The forest is extensive and seems to last forever, until you get to the North Slope where trees can’t survive the hard winter.
We met great people, natives, converts and tourists. The locals were friendly and happy to be there. They love the outdoors and most get out and enjoy it whenever they can.
The towns were neat, although few and far between. I like that though. Anchorage is a real city but easy to get around. Homer is eclectic. Chitina is real, old-time Alaska.
I experienced more than I could expect while in Alaska, but there is so much more to see. If I am lucky, I’ll get back there again.
Another beautiful day. This is getting old, nothing but great scenery. We spent much of the day around the Talkeetna area, which was the town they modeled the Northern Exposure TV show.
There are great views of Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park from town. It is the base camp for the mountain climbers and the town has a real Alaskan feel. We had breakfast at the old Roadhouse, we you sit at a big table with a bunch of other folks. It is a great way to talk to other travelers and locals.
It was clear all day and we drove to several places looking for bears, but we only found a porcupine. It went up a tree and posed for us.
The clouds rolled through late in the day, which made for dramatic shots.
Another great day in Alaska. Today we worked the Kanai Penninsula from one end to the other.
On the way back north, we saw eagles soaring off a bluff. We found a place to pull and and a short hike took us to the bluff’s edge where bald and golden eagles soared right past us like they were in a parade. We had well over 50 birds pass by including a slew of golden eagles. Neither Walter or I had seen a golden before, so it was quite a thrill.
Also today we saw natives fishing with nets for salmon. Only native Alaskans are allowed to net salmon and they have a limit of 25. We saw moose mommies and babies three times, in Homer we watched sea otters playing and a bald eagle posing for photos in town. We finished the day with a caribou about a mile from our hotel.
Again today we are running on way too little sleep and I am too groggy to put together a gallery of photos from the last couple of days. We have a long day planned again tomorrow, so it looks like I have to get home before postings lots of photos.
Day three, more grandeur and beautiful weather around Anchorage. Everyone tells us it has been raining for three weeks, but it couldn’t be better. My highlight today was meeting up with an old childhood friend, Tim Kochert and his wife Rhonda. I knew Tim before we started school and we shared a locker in high school. I take credit for hooking him and Rhonda up, which seems to have worked out quite nice since they have been married 34 years. I haven’t seen Tim and Rhonda for over 30 years. They are great people and it was really fun to reconnect.
Tim is a United Airline pilot and lives in Colorado and flew in Alaska for several years. Their son goes to college here and they spend a lot of time in Anchorage. Tim has a four-seat Cessna 180 and was kind enough to take for a flight of a lifetime. He took us to a glacier that is only accessible by air. Spectacular doesn’t cover it. We circled the lake below the glacier a couple of times and then flew low over the ice field. We then headed out in search of bears. We didn’t see any, just a bunch of moose and more great scenery, including an incredible view of Mt. McKinley unobstructed by clouds. The flight lasted nearly two hours and it seemed like forever.
It’s 11:30 p.m. and the sun just set. We’ve been going since 5 a.m. and I need to get some sleep. Today started with a great horned owl, then we had waterfalls, majestic mountain ranges, eagles, crazy colored rivers, moose, Anchorage, glaciers, I got pecked on the head by an Artic Tern.
There are lots of photos at Loren’s Alaska photo gallery.
Read daily details at Walter’s blog.