The Buck Stopped Here …

The last snow we had was barely a dusting.  It was snowing fairly heavily when I took Molly for her evening walk, so I thought I might head back into Huntley Meadows in the morning, to photograph the boardwalk – hopefully snow-covered and pristine.  Well, there wasn’t much snow to begin with and the wind had blown all night, so that by the time I left the house an hour before sunrise, very little snow was left on the ground or the boardwalk.  To top it off, there were already footprints in the sparse remaining snow! Despite all, I decided to spend some time working the scene, seeing what I could make of it.

I am not quite sure how I feel about this image.  The photographic possibilities of the area and the subject intrigue me, but I think it is going to take many more visits to get something really worthwhile.

You may be wondering about the title of this post.  Just look to the dark spots in the middle section of the boardwalk. As near as I can figure, the deer must have begun using it as part of their trail system to cross the park, and some of the deer did what deer do when they have to.  To paraphrase President Truman, the buck stopped right there.  Nature adapts.

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Where’s Winter?

There are less than 10 days left to February, and for all intents and purposes, we have not had winter.  Except for a few really cold days in December (‘teens & wind chill), this has been a pretty normal DC area winter; drab, too warm to do anything wintery and too cold to do anything non-wintery.  We have had three snow falls, with a total accumulation of barely more than a half inch, none of which lasted more than a day.  For a landscape photographer living in a drab area, snow events offer an opportunity to look at things anew and I have tried to take advantage of the meager offerings this winter has given me.

This image was made right after the second snow we had this year.  I was out of the house right at sun up as I wanted to hike some unmaintained trails in the Huntley Meadows wetlands area near my home.  Figuring that since the formal, north entrance to the park did not  open until 8am, and that I was entering from one of the southerly access trails, I hoped I would to get to the park boardwalk before anyone else so I could photograph it extending out into the water with untrammeled snow – kind of a minimalist, “zenny” type of image.  But I was too late.  When I arrived, there were already lots of bird watchers and photographers out and around.  So, instead of photographing the boardwalk, I photographed back into the woods I had just traversed from the boardwalk – today’s image.

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As you can see, the snow was light and fluffy, sticking to branches and tree trunks.  Really quite beautiful. But, the weather was mild and within another hour it had all dropped to the ground and melted, by which time I was back home having a cup of tea.

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Great (Small) Falls …

Todays photograph comes from C&O Canal National Historic Park, commonly referred to as the Maryland side of Great Falls.  I have come to like this side of the Potomac as it tends to be less visited than Great Falls National Park on the Virginia side, and while it doesn’t have the classic, familiar views of the main falls, it offers close up views of several side channels to the river, which are just as interesting.

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This image comes from the C&O canal, to the side of Lock 20, just below the old Great Falls Tavern.  I first noticed this small cascade when walking back to the parking lot from a morning of photographing “big” water rushing between rock walls. It turns out that locks need a bypass channel of some sort to empty the lock when lowering a boat and to prevent them from overflowing when water is not actually needed to fill the lock.  This little channel takes overflow water and empties it back into the canal just below the lock, dropping over a small manmade cascade on to some rocks, creating the scene, above. Happily, it was easily and safely approachable on foot by way of a side trail.

I have some more photographs of this area which I will share in future posts.

Thanks for stopping by.