As so often happens, the low, slanting light of early morning — glancing light, I prefer to call it — transformed this ordinary scene.

I shot these Shasta Daisies from my window sill at 6:56 am. Like most of the plant kingdom, they had grown taller and lusher than usual this year, perhaps due to the warm winter, or a combination of the latter with a cool spring.

The daisies are growing in an eight-inch raised bed, which brought them up a little closer to my shooting position. The flower heads had all turned toward the low sun, exposing their undersides. Like fine, translucent china, the petals lit up under the intense sunlight, and were made brilliant against the navy blue pond.

The date was June 30, 2012.

Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. See related posts: Glancing Light and Photography as Art*. Comments are welcome.

 

I’ll forgive the geese for now. A group of them, adults without goslings, had assembled offshore, and were milling about. I could tell they wanted to come up and nibble my lawn. Strange. What was holding them back? Usually they’re not at all bashful about it.

I went out to shush them off. As I got close, something moved behind a row of hostas (big this year) growing along the water’s edge. The creature quickly came into view, no more than three feet from me. As I watched, it moved quickly, deliberately, with no sign of panic, north toward Smith Point.

I thought, what animal is this? It’s too big for a cat or a groundhog. It could be a dog, but I’ve never seen a dog with a head and ears like that. Reddish. Aha! A red fox. A moment later it was gone.

(Reminder to myself, in fact a resolution: never go out in the yard again, for any reason, without taking the camera.)

The fox may return to Smith Point, looking for things to eat along the shore, so I may see it again. I wonder, though, will I ever see the little cottontail again? It was living on Smith Point.

For readers in the exburbs, sightings such as this may be commonplace. Here in the city, though, this is hardly an everyday event. How about you? Have you seen a fox lately?

The date was June 29, 2012, the time about 5:00 in the afternoon.

Comments are welcome.

 


This proud, painterly procession of luminous clouds was captured on June 25, 2012, at 8:06 pm, just as the last, low rays of sun spread across the water.

Only this spring have I been able to enjoy this sunset-lit scene, which changes nightly. In earlier years, a big Box Elder tree blocked my view. Fortunately — or sadly, depending on how you look at it — the tree outgrew its roots and blew down during Tropical Storm Irene.

See related posts: Idyllic Sunset* and Somber Sunset. Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. Comments are welcome.

 


The kayakers are pond residents, Dede Reade and her husband, Ed Boudreau, enjoying the good weather. Dede and I convinced Ed that too much sun is not a good idea. After this photo was taken, he went back to get his shirt.

Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. See related post: Sunday Outing. Comments are welcome.

 


I first saw these two birds at Heron Rock a little before dawn (photo below). The bird on the left is not on the big rock, itself — which seems able to support only one bird at a time — but on a small rock just beyond. It appears to be immature, that is, just a few months old. The full name of these stocky, wide-ranging migrants is Black-crowned Night-Heron.

The magic hour before dawn yields its secrets once again. Rise early, and see without being seen; that’s my proven formula for pre-dawn photography.

I took a long series of photos, over ten minutes, the one above being the last, shot at 5:09 am. Why it should be darker than the earlier one at the right, taken at 5:02, I’m not sure. The birds in the top photo had moved a little further away, and the angle of view was different. The cloud cover may have changed, as well. These two photos are the best of the series, all the others being a bit fuzzy or repetitive.

June 20, 2012, the day of these photos, was also the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year for us. Technically, sunrise was at 5:07 am in the Boston area, but the sun breaks over the ridge on the eastern shore of the pond some minutes later.

Click an image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. See related posts: Young Night-Heron and Night-Heron Again. Comments are welcome.

 


This is the same scene that I photographed in May, but five weeks later. The houses nestled in the far, southeastern corner of the pond appear tiny, as if from a Monopoly game. They’ve been gently set aglow by the last, low rays of sun.

This is a somber view, in contrast to the earlier one, due to its darker tones, overcast sky, and the slight breeze roiling the water, canceling reflections.

The photo was taken at 8:03 pm on June 18, 2012, which was the next-to-last day of Spring.

Update: This post was originally published under the title, “Spring Idyll Revisited.” I apologize for any confusion.

Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. See related post: Idyllic Sunset. Comments are welcome.