Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lily (Longwood Gardens)

Lily, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A retreat to Longwood Gardens during the Orchid Festival was just what the soul needed during the gloomy winter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

William Penn / Liberty Place

William Penn / Liberty Place, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
Early and chilly Sunday morning in Philadelphia. My friend, John, and I tried to capture the sunrise at the Art Museum, but the light was little off for the dramatic effects we were hoping for.

After the sun came up, we headed to Ben Franklin Bridge for a photo walk. The beginning of the pedestrian ramp is near 5th and Arch. (Kiosk parking close by on Arch street, $1/hr at 8:30AM)

The bridge is well over a mile long, end-to-end and it has pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge. The north side walk seems little used for the best views of the city are from the south side.

It was a thrilling experience. This bridge is just huge! It's over 100 feet above the river, the cables are giant and the support towers are over 350 feet tall. Two hours flew by effortlessly.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birdsboro Reservoir (First Spring)

Late afternoon at the Hay Creek Watershed was the remedy for a severe case of Spring fever. Sunny and temp around 75 amounts to perfect weather.

It felt great after a relatively inactive winter for Max and I to get out and take a photo walk. Two hours and over two miles in the park flew by as we saw all the usual sights.

The shoulders along old SR82 were cut short so very little activity there, at least above the surface.

The discharge from Birdsboro Reservoir was charging in it's path along the road. Nice sunlit shots were abundant.

Breezes at the reservoir added texture to the surface and abstracted the reflections.

The canal was deep and clear. A few frogs and a snake made an appearance as well an underwater salamander.

The Hay Creek was rushing full force and it was apparent it has receded from it's highest water for the shore lines were matted down from the past heavy and moving waters.

On our way out we passed about 20 people walking in to enjoy the weather and sights of the park.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve (Sunrise Snow Geese)

snow geese, originally uploaded by Berks_Awhile.
A 4:30AM wake-up was necessary to make the 6:15 sunrise at the Middle Creek Preserve. I drove for 50 minutes, then walked another 1/2 mile up Willow Point trail to the pavilion to join a bunch of fellow snow goose lovers in anticipation of the early show.

The uncanny body clock of these geese set them to flight en mass shortly before the day break. As if a practice flight, they did a large sweeping lap around the skies then back down to the lake.

Another large flock did the same routine, but within a half hour these massive flocks started flying off the lake. An estimated 50,000 geese randomly, yet systematically, flew away from us all over the next 1.5 hours.

Some human-tolerant snow geese paddled to the shore, waddled up the field then began to feed amongst their human admirers. Great portrait opportunities for all of us as well as the ability to observe their feeding behavior.

I finally pulled myself away and headed to the car to warm up my trigger hand and look for some new and different subject matter.

The tour road opened March 1, which has some neat scenery, but little access to the snow geese because almost all lands around the lake are restricted access.

The highlight of the tour road was red-winged blackbirds. Posing in bushes along the road and singing their mating call to lure in a suitor seemed to be their sole focus.

Tired and hungry and home by 10:30 with a very fulfilling photo shoot behind me, I had the afternoon to relax and relive my morning via 600 images and 4 videos. Great day!