Category Archives: Photography

Vermont Panorama – Small Town Parade Gathering

The parade’s an hour or so away. All of the fire trucks from miles around are gathering, the trailer and paper mache floats are being towed into place, the classic cars are rolling into town, and the various civic groups from the Shriners to the Elks to the Boy Scouts are finding their spots in the parade lineup.

(Click to enbiggenate!)

Along the parade route, through the town square here and in both directions along the main road that follows the river, folks with lawn chairs and coolers are staking out their spots. This isn’t Pasadena on New Year’s Eve. No need to start defending your territory a day or two in advance. There’s plenty of room for a front row seat – although the spots in the shade are at a premium.

Even the guy with the goat doesn’t seem too out of place.

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Vermont Panorama – Marshfield Dam Reservoir

You might find yourself north on US Highway 2 from the Montpelier area up through Marshfield (and you MUST stop at Rainbow Sweets!!), perhaps headed toward Cabot to get some cheese and you find a wonderful little park with a place to launch a boat…

(Click to see The Big Picture!)

Out there, if you look very closely, you’ll see the head of a loon floating along. The bird, not the loon behind the camera.

Maybe next time you’ll bring a kayak and make a day of it, looking to go out cruising with the loons, looking for a moose in the shallows at sundown. If you get some English toffee or jalapeno cheddar, it’s gravy.

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Vermont Panorama – Connecticut River

Along the east side of Vermont, separating it from New Hampshire, runs the Connecticut River. Following the river for almost all of that border are US Highway 5 and a set of train tracks.

(Click to see full-sized image)

This is up in the Norwich area, just north of White River Junction. The slice of New Hampshire you see on the other side of the river is just north of Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College.

We didn’t go there – the computer department might have a long memory…

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Vermont Panorama – Stoughton Pond

Springfield, Vermont was a national center for the machine tool industry a few decades ago. Machine tool factories are where you make the machines that make the machines. More to the point, it’s where you make the machines that make cars and washing machines. And in the 1940’s, it’s where you make the machines that make tanks and planes.

That’s important.

So the Army Corps of Engineers decided that having the Black River flood would be a bad idea since it runs right next to the factories for Jones & Lamson, Fellows, Bryant, and Lovejoy. They solved that problem by putting a couple of dams on the Black River. One is next to the airport, north of Springfield in the appropriately named North Springfield. Just north of that, up in Perkinsville on the North Branch of the Black River, is a second dam with a nice recreation area behind the dam. That’s Stoughton Pond.

It’s a great place to meet friends you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe the next time we’ll bring a kayak and go for a paddle. Maybe bring a fishing pole and see if we can find some of those smallmouth bass.

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Vermont Panorama – VT22

From our trip to Vermont two weeks ago. We had just parked at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne (seen at the far left) and I climbed this embankment to see what was up there and look at the clouds.

(Click to see the full-sized image!)

Aside from some nice Adirondack chairs, off in the distance I saw some planes and a couple of hangars. But where’s the runway?

See all of that grass?

This is VT22, Shelburne Farms airport, with a 1,900′ grass runway, and plenty of other grass on the side to park your plane on. A quick check on ForeFlight says you need to plan ahead to fly in there – no gas, no services.

In my flight training I’ve flown into small airports with no towers, but I’ve never flown into a grass strip.

Maybe next time we’re in Vermont and need a bear we can just fly in and walk over instead of driving all the way up to Shelburne!

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A Most Bizarre Fourth Of July

First, there was a pretty decent sized earthquake.

I felt it as a long, slow swaying motion, sort of like being on a dock that’s floating free when the wake from a motorboat passes by. There was no rattling or shaking, no sharp movements, and no noise. But it went on and on, at least 30 seconds, possibly twice that. I had time to feel it, know what it was, and get out into the other room, where I could still feel it while standing for a while.

I recognize that phenomenon – it means there was a fairly big earthquake a fair distance away. (I felt the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake like that even though it was over 400 miles away.) This one was about 120 miles away.

It was “exciting.”

Then this afternoon I started hearing multiple helicopters coming low over the house and multiple sirens along Valley Circle Boulevard. Unfortunately, I recognize that phenomenon as well – brush fire!

Yep, that’s the same area that burned last November and kept us for four days with all of our critical documents and belongings packed in the car “just in case.” My money says that today’s brush fire was started by some moron with illegal fireworks.

Fortunately, winds were light, it wasn’t terribly hot, and LA City and LA County and Ventura County Fire Departments jumped on it pretty quickly with over two dozen fire trucks and crews and at least four helicopters. It took a couple of hours, but it’s out.

I hope your Fourth was more fun and less stressful than mine!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Disasters, Photography

No Context For You – July 1st

We’re half way through 2019.

My voice is coming back and I’m talking way too much when I should be resting it and quiet.

I’m out of Twitter Timeout, still without a clue about what triggered it.

I’m furious abut this, incredibly frustrated about that, concerned about a friend, the tiniest bit hopeful about this other thing (against all my better judgement), and overall I am just absolutely exhausted.

How are you doing?

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Filed under Paul, Photography