Birch Stand

I like birch trees. They add something to a landscape in all seasons, the white bark providing contrast in any environment. In New England it is not uncommon to see birch trees snapped in two after a heavy snow. The slender trunks bend under the weight and at some point it becomes too much. Even if they don’t break the first time they don’t always stand back up, leaving birch arches, that while pretty, are even more susceptible to damage.

In the above stand of birch at the edge of the big pond at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford each tree is standing tall: a testament to resilience after last winter’s heavy and constant snow. The ones below are listing a little. They have all shed their leaves in preparation for another winter and I hope to see them still standing in the spring.

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Seaside Art

The view of Stony Creek Harbor through the frame created by the artwork shown above changes with every step as you pass by, allowing you to focus on individual elements of a busy scene.

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Unexpected in this seaside village, I continued on to what turned out to be an artsy walk.

The piece below is on the same lawn as the frame. A giant knot? Is the small orb on the ground just under the left edge part of the piece or a stray golf ball? I’m no visionary when it comes to interpreting art but I like this.

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The next image is not of “art” but seemed artful to me. An abundance of horizontal and vertical lines intersecting, but not quite perpendicular. Level on one line makes crooked on another.

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Nature and man combined to make this an artful view.

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This one is all nature, beach roses hanging on as fall closes in.

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Gull Afternoon

This Gull waited patiently for the roiling surf at Hammonasset Beach to stir up some lunch. Spotted it!

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He rose out of the water with a treasure.

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It appeared he knew the key to opening said treasure.

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However, he wasn’t rewarded as the shell bounced off the sand with a thud, not the sharp “crack” often heard when Gulls drop clams or snails on a pier or rocks.

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Undeterred, he strutted off to try again, leaving the unopened shell behind.

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Corners of Jerome, Arizona

A 19th century mining town, Jerome has re-created itself as a tourist spot west of Sedona, at an elevation just above 5000 feet. Many historical details have survived, or partly survived.

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Downtown is a mix of old and newer, with art studios, boutiques and restaurants lining the steep streets. Unexpected details every where you turn.

Click on any photo for a larger view or slideshow.

Walking back to our car I was overcome by the sweet smell of ripe peaches permeating the air. One more thing I wasn’t expecting.

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Zoo Birds

Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI, has a number of  exotic  bird exhibits.  Visitors can get close  to the Flamingoes; most of the rest are enclosed in some way that limits photography. The West African Crowned Crane (above) was behind plexiglass and the Laughing Kookaburra is in a large, covered enclosure (aka cage).

Not surprisingly, there are a number of birds there that have chosen the zoo as their home,  or at least a place to hang out on a sunny Ocober day.

Zoo Animals

Many of the exhibits at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI, are constructed so that visitors can see at least the faces of the animals without looking through fencing, posts or wires. Presumably these exhibits include those animals unable to escape from these enclosures that take advantage of elevation differences, moats, or an animal’s disability.

However, there is a plexiglas barrier between you and the big cats, making for a tough shot of these leopards piled up together on a rock in the sun.

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It was late morning on a warm fall day when we went and many of the animals were resting, but the elephants and giraffes were very actively having lunch.

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Autumn View

Vines and leaves are drying up and shrinking back even though we have not yet had a frost in central Connecticut. Views are starting to expand and birds are mores easily seen in spots that have been hidden by summer’s lush foliage.

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We walked this morning along a mowed path at the edge of a wooded wildlife management area, easily spotting many species of birds that just weeks ago we could only hear.

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Click on any photo below for larger view or slide show.

After a frost that will help make the poison ivy even more visible I’ll venture off the path.