Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Today it's Halloween and what is spookier than taking photos in a cemetery? These old graves are occupied by people who were dead long before I was born... and I was born a long time ago.

You wonder if the residents are remembered by anyone, and wonder if anyone will remember us in 100 years. It is kinda sobering. A hundred years in not much time in the overall scheme of things.

And what makes this even creepier is the name on the large monument.

Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mystery photo

Seems like a break from autumn foliage is in order, well kind of. I am sure you can see there are some leaves with those telltale colors in this photo too, but this is a different point of view. What exactly it is I will let you guess.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Color revealed

Every autumn in the Northeast we are treated to bright color foliage. The reds, oranges and yellows can be spectacular both as wide vista and as close-up.

But what to me is amazing is those colors have actually been there all summer and only revealed in the fall. During the summer the tree generates chlorophyll, the pigment that enables photosynthesis, and this is what provides the energy needed to grow and live. When autumn descends the days get shorter, triggering the tree to stop making chlorophyll. The green color recedes and the masked colors are revealed. The tree transitions into dormancy and the leaves eventually drop, protecting the tree from winter winds and snow.

Amazing, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Bay

We have had some great skies lately, and here is another example.

This is a view of Irondequoit Bay from the bay bridge approach looking north. If you look closely on the horizon and beyond the line of houses you can see a slim bit of Lake Ontario, the last in the chain of the Great Lakes.

I live just off Bay Road which follows the bay on the east side. Unfortunately I do not have a view of the bay from my house but it is quite close.

They tell me that until the last ice age Irondequoit Bay was the outlet for the Genesee River, which now is located a number of miles to the west. These days the bay is a small boat harbor and a great spot for sailing and water skiing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leno Tree

Jay Leno is well known for the contrasting streak of hair on his head. Our maple tree has one section that turns bright orange weeks before the rest of the tree changes color. It always makes me think of Leno.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal

I always think of that old song as I pass over the Erie Canal on my way to work. Low Bridge, Everybody Down!

The office park where I work is adjacent to the canal. In this photo we are looking toward Buffalo, with Albany at our back. The canal is mostly used for pleasure boating now but back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it is what made cities like Rochester, the metro area in which I live.

Soon the canal will be mostly drained for the winter. It will then be refilled in the spring as it has been for well over 100 years.

This day we have dark clouds and good sun, my favorite combination. The mirror-like reflection of the canal is the bonus!

Monday, October 12, 2009

First frost

This morning we woke to see frost on the rooftops. The first frost of the season.

This historic single room school house is about a mile from my home. It is now preserved as a museum and a reminder of simpler times. The school children that used this building surely did not arrive on school buses carrying iPods or cell phones. I wonder, were any less happy than the students of today?

At any rate, there is frost on the roof that contrasts with the brilliant color of a wonderful Maple tree.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

And then there was fall

The seasons come and go so quickly. Suddenly there is a snap in the air, a cool crispness that tells us that summer is done and autumn is at hand. The trees take on a warmer tone as though the yellows, oranges and reds will delay the cold, but of course it does not.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Landscapes that come to you

Great landscape photos often feature majestic mountains, splashing streams and rivers, or dramatic ocean views. Capturing images of those panoramic scenes requires being in the right place and under the right light conditions.

Traveling to those locations takes planning, time and luck. But there is another type of landscape that comes to you! You still need dramatic lighting and some luck, but travel is not really necessary.

In my mind, clouds can be the perfect landscape. A little imagination is necessary but it is not hard to think of those billowy vapors as puffy mounds of snow, or great white summits. Gazing up to the heights requires much less effort than climbing a real mountain, but the view is still inspiring.