Next stop on the bucket list for my Home-Sweet-Home tour took me to New Hampshire. To my oldest, dearest, bestest, friend in the entire world. We met as little kids and have been living parallel lives all through the years, though, sadly, never in the same state. New Hampshire means critters, lakes, and far off hills, or maybe they are the mountains that my ‘mountain man’ friend spent his life hiking and camping on. Backpacking, is how he did it. Now that I have camped in a camper I’ve been told that I can claim to be a camper! Works for me…
I had visions ahead of this visit of taking lovely photos of lighthouses against a backdrop of sunrise or sunset colors, the sky was spectacularly uncooperative for the first few days I was here, so this view of the Chatham Light is the best I could do, so far.
Who needs a dramatic sky when you have this?
I thought the courthouse was an imposing structure sitting up on a hill, flanked by the two statues. Again, a more dramatic sky would have been nice.
I love everything about this charming little house, which is most likely totally out of my price range, and then when you think about the taxes that particular bubble pops pretty quickly. But I like to tease myself.
This little structure would be more affordable, but alas, there is no vacancy.
I looked up that phrase to make sure it’s a real thing, and it is. A Southern expression of amazement. But I’m no longer down south, where I hear it’s extra toasty weather, and the last five miles of my pilgrimage up north had me driving down Main Street, Goshen, NY. I didn’t stop right then for photo ops, I was too close to my goal. But after visiting with my son and his family all afternoon I did run out to see if I could get some pictures of that charming town. The piano is an example of what you might find around town. Old pianos, painted whimsically, and sitting out available for playing, or just admiring. And the Goshen Town Hall used to house a two room school where Noah Webster once taught. Where would we be with out Webster’s dictionary? I might have to head back to Sweet Tymes for an ice cream cone before I leave. Coffee preferably, but I wouldn’t object to some chocolate chips in it…
Yes, I did mostly stick to major highways on this trip, but not always on purpose. Route 301 in Florida came up at the beginning of the trip when I was fresh and excited to be on the trip, but also with an eye out for photo ops. And since it winds through little towns with big speed traps you must slow down and savor the photo ops. Many that I drove past, unfortunately, but we have to blame Ozzie for that. He hadn’t yet settled down for the drive, maybe he thought I found a new vet that was farther away, but he was worried. And every time I stopped he got upset about what was up. It’s always been my contention that as long as life is going on as normal and your dog knows what to expect he will be fine. But throw them a curveball, like three days in the car, and his applecart will be officially upset. So after a few photos I decided to take pity on the boy.
The area occupied by Circle B Bar Reserve was once a cattle farm. It was purchased through an environmental lands acquisition referendum and the land is now home to many birds and other wildlife. Once I had spotted the Roseate Spoonbills the bird that would have been at the top of my list to see after that would have been owls. Except I saw these Barred owls before I saw the spoonbills. Where to see them was pointed out to me as soon as I got there, and I knew that at least one of my wishes for the day had come true already. But in addition we have the Anhinga, one of which passed though my backyard today, stopping for a moment on the post usually occupied by the little blue heron… The Limpkin, which I’m told eats apple snails…The Red-sholdered Hawk, another of my backyard visitors …The Green Heron, another new bird to me…The Great Egret, not an uncommon bird to see but always so pretty…As you can see, it was a great day. I’ll be heading back again, but I’ll be happy to go when it’s a little warmer than Saturday was. It warmed up nicely though, but not until it was time for me to leave.
I spent the last six months obsessed with cranes, we’ve established that. Probably because that’s what I’d see out my kitchen window every day. Who wouldn’t go outside to watch tiny crane chicks right in their own backyard? For whatever reason the cranes have moved on at the moment, but what I am seeing every time I look out the window is butterflies flitting around the plumbago out there. I can’t resist going out with my iPhone and practicing what I learned in the iPhonephotographyschool.com. I still use my iPhone a lot even though I have also invested in a DSLR. Having your phone in your pocket is the photography equivalent of being a quick draw in the old west!
As much as I loved my phone and have had an iPhone ever since I stood in line with the rest of the crazy people on the day they released the first version, I didn’t know how to use the camera to it’s full potential at all. Which came as a bit of a surprise since I got some really great photos with it in spite of not knowing what I was doing. Then I saw a list of iPhone photography tips from the iPhonephotographyschool, and I didn’t know a single one of them. I was hooked! One was that you can set the focus by tapping the screen where you want to focus and holding it a second so it locks. This made a huge difference when I was standing in the backyard trying to get my photos to reflect the color of the sunrise that was right in front of me. When I set the focus on the red color in the sky it worked perfectly.
For the butterflies photos I locked the focus on a flower from about 4 feet away, and now I could chase butterflies around and when I got them in the 4 foot or so range I could hold down the shutter button taking ‘bursts’ of photos. The theory is that even though you’ll get a lot of photos to toss, your chances of getting a few that are in perfect focus will be much higher doing it that way. It applies anytime you are trying to photograph kids, or pets, or any moving subject. I never take iPhone photos without setting the focus, it has become second nature. I also take bursts with my DSLR, and I’ve gotten some good butterfly photos with that too, but it takes a cooperative butterfly that will hold a pose a second.
As long as I passed the lock focus tip along let me also mention that after you lock the focus you’ll see a little sun symbol right beside the focus ‘box’. Slide your finger up or down anywhere on the screen and it will adjust the exposure. Try that with a sunrise or sunset photo and you’ll be hooked too!