Year in Review Part 2, Summer/Autumn

     Each season in New  England has its good points and bad points. Winters can be very cold and snowy, but nothing beats a walk thru a snow covered forest  on a winters day. The warmth of summer is a real pleasure after a brutal winter, but with the warmth comes nature little annoyances. In the form of gnats mosquitoes and other little flying creatures. So as summer began with bug spray in hand I spent alot of time at the Sunny Valley Preserve in New Milford CT.

 The preserve is a virtual birders paradise.The highlight of the season was watching the Kestrels raise their young.

IMGL0218

 I watched as the male would deliver a mouse or vole, and the female would either stash it for later or take it directly to the nest.

IMGL9429Kestrel

I missed the fledging of the young, but hopes are they will return next year. Also at the preserve I enjoyed my first year chasing warblers around. These colorful little birds have ample habitat in the thick brush and forest.

blue winged warblerBlue Winged Warbler

IMGL8061Prairie Warbler

Above are two examples of what I found. I always wondered what those sounds were when I walked thru a field in the summer. One thing Ive learned this summer is be very observant and listen closely to your surroundings.You will be amazed of what you might see. Another first time sighting for me was the Indigo Bunting.

IMGL5350Indigo Bunting

These striking blue birds fly from the deep south to mate up here in New England.I caught a few of them posing nicely on little twigs or branches.They made nice additions to my minimalism in nature portfolio.  More on that in another post. It really is amazing how far these little guys fly in the course of a year.

IMGL0520Nonnewaug Falls

Mid summer I paid a visit to a place  I haven’t been to in quite a while. Nonnewaug Falls in Woodbury CT. This small single drop waterfall can dry up to just a trickle in summer. But thanks to a previous nights  rain the flow was perfect. Ive been here before but wanted something different this time. So after meandering around for about an hour I settled on this composition. The lush green fern in the foreground framing the falls, with the forest above. To me this says summer in the forest.

The  summer seemed to quickly wind down and the foggy mornings  of late August and early September were upon us. Locally there is a park I frequently go to shoot, and found some nice fog on this late August morning.

IMGL2494nq copy 2Thru the Fog

As I walked thru the grass I happened to turn and look back. The sun was just starting to burn off the morning fog. And I  noticed my trail in the thick morning dew. Instinctively I immediately set up for the shot, the result a piece  I call Thru the Fog.I spent the morning here and came away with several pleasing images.

September quickly turned to October and by mid month the peak foliage season was near.I really wanted to capture the West Cornwall  covered bridge this year during peak or near peak foliage. So up before sunrise and a 30 mile ride later I arrived at my destination.

IMGL3266_7_8_9_tonemapped copyWest Cornwall Covered Bridge

I was met with perfect conditions for the morning, fog and the sun was yet to peak over the mountain. So I scrambled into position and waited. And as soon as the sun illuminated the scene I got the shot I wanted.

IMGL3145Autumn Fog

As I waited for the scene to develop, I noticed an oak tree showing thru the thick morning fog.Never one to pass up an opportunity, I moved down stream a bit a made the photo aptly named Autumn Fog.

And ya cant go without photographing a waterfall in the peak foliage season. I visited the usual places like Kent Falls, but Connecticut isn’t exactly the waterfall capitol of the world. I decided to travel north a bit and ended up at Campbells Falls State Park in Norfolk CT

IMGL3356_57_58_59_60_tonemappedCampbell Falls

The park straddles the Mass/CT border with the falls on the Massachusetts side. There are few vantage points at this location but I liked the tourist shot the best. I call it the tourist shot because I basically walked up to the easiest vantage point and took several exposures. The falls themselves are not surrounded by foliage so I composed the falls to the right and included the available foliage to left. I think it balances nicely.

And last but not least, just as stick season was upon us  I visited a place where I basically grew up. Tarrywile Park in Danbury CT. Once the land of a working dairy farm, thankfully it is being preserved as a park for everyone to enjoy.IMGL3915Autumn Farm Pond

This place holds many great memories for me. On any given day of the year I would be somewhere on this land, be it hunting,fishing, swimming or just hanging with friends. Its always great to go back home again,and relive those fond memories. I could go on and on about this place, but that’s a story for another day.

Well that’s it in a nutshell, the reader digest version of my year in photography.Maybe next year I will travel a bit more, we’ll see what happens.But until then I’ll roam around locally and see what  find. Don’t forget to visit my homepage  Bill Wakeley Photography and on Facebook.

Thanks…..till next time…..Bill

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