Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shooting the moon

I got a telephoto lens for Christmas! It's awesome and I'm so excited about it, but really haven't had much of a chance to take it anywhere yet. About a week ago I was inside, feeling kind of bored (and unwell, or I would've taken a walk) and noticed the moon rising in my skylight. It was dusk so the sky was still pretty light, and the moon was big (close to full). I figured why not play around a bit - so I busted out the telephoto and tripod and did some experimenting.

It took me a few tries to get the settings right, but I ended up with some surprisingly good photos, especially for being taken through the skylight! I was going to go outside last week for the full moon and try again but it was cloudy. This shot is the clearest. It isn't altered at all, just cropped so the moon is in the center of the photo. I'll post more as they come!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beverly Commons walk

Yesterday was a rare (although not so much this winter...) beautiful 50 degree February day and I decided to take advantage of it! There are a few spots I've been meaning to check out and I either haven't had the time or have wimped out because of the cold, and yesterday I had no excuses.

I've decided I want to start checking out the trails and open spaces in my city (here is the Open Space & Recreation Committee website); for a relatively urban area overall, there is a lot of open space to explore! A coworker recommended Beverly Commons to me a while back so I decided to go there yesterday. It's funny, because there are three 'Beverly Commons' that I know of in the city - an apartment complex (where we actually lived for a few years), the actual city common downtown, and this property. This property, about 160 acres, was used as common area for sheep to graze in during colonial times. Later on granite was quarried in the area and there were homes put up for the workers, of which remnants still exist. It's back to forest now, with some swampy areas and a nice carriage road and lots of trails.

We had about an hour to explore, so we looked at the map quickly & set out. The sun was starting to go down as it was about 3pm, but we still had plenty of light. Pretty close to the entrance we started at was the foundation of the foreman's house (above) from the quarrying days, and we set off into the woods from there. It's pretty hilly and even rocky in some areas - there were lots of side trails so we went all over the place: one trail led out to what looked like someone's driveway (oops), one led up a hill to a little rocky area where there was a fire ring (would be a nice place to bring lunch sometime), and another led to the carriage road (below), which leads to another entrance to the property I think.

It looks like the property is fenced off along some sides to mark off where it becomes private, but there isn't clear signage and some sections of fence are broken and missing, so it's hard to tell. We wandered up a trail to one area where there was a big gap in an old rusty fence, and there was a gully with lots of old crap dumped down in it like tires, old parts from cars and just lots of junk. At first we thought it was still public property but we realized after noticing the fence down that it probably was not. There were a few other areas like this where there were piles of junk or debris and we weren't sure if we were still on public property or not. All the dumped junk and piles we saw looked pretty old except for the tires, which didn't look very weathered, so I don't know what's going on there. (this one below looks like a fallen down shed maybe? I have no idea. I like taking pictures of crap in the woods, lol.)

We made our way around to what we thought was the trail we'd started on (it was) and headed back to the car. Probably spent around an hour exactly wandering and it was just what I needed! Walking in the woods seems to be a cure-all sometimes :) A few more cool photos - a downed tree that looked like a pinwheel, some pretty icicles I found on a little cliff, and an old rusty fire hydrant off one of the trails that made for a really cool pic!

Definitely looking forward to coming back here and bringing some other friends along sometime. Biking these trails would be fun too. And, can't beat the 10 minute drive!

One last picture - I caught a great sunrise yesterday morning! Got up to feed the cat at about 6:30am and noticed the brightest pink in the sky, so I grabbed my stuff & power-walked down to the beach. I missed the bright pink but still got some pretty good shots.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Look of Winter - OBN photo prompt

I was hoping I'd have a photo from this winter to use for this photo prompt from OBN, but sadly the only snow we've gotten was a) in October, or b) a few slushy inches that disappeared right away. Sigh. At this point since it's February, I'd gladly welcome spring, but I won't be disappointed if we get at least one storm. For now, I present a pic from last winter.

Last year we had plenty of snow, more than enough for me! I took a bunch of photos from our deck during some of the big storms. I like this one because it shows just how much snow tree branches can hold. Pretty amazing and really cool looking too! I do hope there is some snow this year so I can take a walk & get some nice pictures, for now I'll have to live vicariously through what I took last year. :D