Pulpit Falls

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Pulpit Falls, Winchester, N.H., August 2017

I took a couple of chances with my safety to reach this waterfall, which is tucked away in southwest New Hampshire just over the Massachusetts border. The sun was almost down, and it was about a half mile hike up a path that hadn’t been used in a while. All I could think about was the sun going down and not being able to find my way back to the car. About ten seconds into the hike, I lost the signal from my phone’s map program, and I was hiking blind. Fortunately, there are blue ribbons hanging from the trees marking the trail. Without those, I’d have been screwed. But I’m glad I took the risk.

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Seacoast

Portsmouth, N.H., and all along the seacoast

 

 

Catching Up

It’s certainly been a while. Here are some photos ranging from mid April to just this week.

Labor Day

Photos from a Labor Day hike along Snyder Brook in Randolph.

August

Ten minutes into the first interview I had with my current boss, he was telling me about the weather in Gorham. He carefully walked me through all twelve months and what they would deliver to the area in which I was seeking employment.

“And then in late August,” he said, his eyes suddenly becoming far away, “the light starts to change…” Right about then, I swear I heard a ghostly tinkling of distant chimes. This did not sound good.

He was right, of course. The light has changed. The sun is lower in the sky and already you can tell something is amiss. Fall is coming. Every hundredth or so tree on north-facing hillsides has a faint yellow cast. Afternoons are still warm, but this morning had a bit of a snap to it.

The coming of our second autumn is difficult to describe. It’s like that stinging aura you feel the night before you get the flu. But it’s pleasant. Of course, the winter that comes after is long and can be unpleasant. Whatever. You get what I’m trying to say.

To hell with it: I’ll just defer to my boss. The light has changed.

Nimbus

Thunderhead over western Maine from Gorham, NH
Thunderhead over western Maine from Gorham, NH

IMG_8490When we set sail for the East Coast, the prospect of a regular thunderstorm was one of many things I looked forward to. While we get more here than we got in Portland, it appears to be five or six a year instead of one or two. Still, that’s better than no fireworks at all.

I got this photo today in a hardware store, looking northeast about thirty miles. That mature anvil top is definitely not something I got to see back in Oregon. The line of storms continued to the north all evening. I went to school and got a few frames, but had had to fire off almost a hundred 1/10th exposure, five or six at a time. Let’s just say my reflexes are not on a part with lightning. Lots of “black Wyoming” on the SD card. The one to the right is the best of the bunch. I’d love to get something like this someday, though. Even once.

The Basin

The Pemigewasset River does really cool things on its trip through Franconia Notch, as you can see.

I can’t say that this is my best work, since we were heading home from a trip to Manchester and I was a little rushed. Also, it was getting dark, and I learned that shooting long exposure times doesn’t help as much as I would have liked.

This is a spot called The Basin. Fortunately, it’s right off Interstate 93, so you can pull off the road and five minutes later be in the middle of all this. Unfortunately, it’s right off Interstate 93, which means one of these images had to have whooshing cars cropped out of it.

12(y = cosh(x))

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Suspended chains, Gorham Hydroelectric site, Gorham, NH

We found a new place to walk the other night, toward the east end of town. There’s a canal off the Androscoggin River that leads to an operational dam, which is actually churning out a couple megawatts of power. Past the dam is a spot where the canal rejoins the river. When fall comes, the leaves will be spectacular.

I’m not entirely sure how much two megawatts is, but I’m pretty sure it could power a whole bunch of houses in town. It’s nice to know that when the zombies come, we can drive to Errol and stock up, then drive home and watch ESPN.

Stand

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Birch stand, Pinkham Notch, NH

They’re much friendlier with leaves.

In summer and fall, they look like a Calvin and Hobbes painting. In winter, that cold, bright bark looks like lightning coming out of the ground.

Drops

IMG_3392I’m on Day 4 of a self-imposed 10,000-steps-a-day program. On the exercise spectrum, this places my lazy butt somewhere between senior center tai chi and being an inanimate object. I guess it’s better than not exercising at all.

It rained pretty hard today. For a while there, it looked like my streak was in peril. But I got home from work and the rain had stopped, so we walked out by the airstrip. I really thought we were out there for while. But the 2,500 steps during my working hours plus the walk only got me a bit past 9,000. As I write this, I’m already in my robe and 400 steps short. I have less than two hours to get up and pound them out. Hope I can summon the will.

Anyway, it was a pretty good drenching this afternoon. Water was definitely a motif in today’s photos. But it’s New Hampshire, which means nothing stays wet for very long—thanks, two inches of topsoil!

Wildflowers are everywhere. So were the gnats. I got home and was getting in the shower when I felt the familiar tickle of a tick getting ready to give my back a love bite. I stayed on the road 99 percent of the time and only stepped in grass for a combined thirty seconds. Ticks can go to hell.

I got another shot of a spider skulking around on a flower. That makes three in two weeks. I didn’t even see the latest one until I got home and started going through the pictures.

Sundogs at Sunset

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Sundogs on either side of setting sun, Gorham, NH, June 2015

The weather here isn’t the greatest, but the sky is certainly never dull. Sundogs and halos are a common sight. Hell, even lenticular clouds are just … another thing that happens.

I thought I knew everything there was to know about U.S. geography. I can draw each state from memory, and even assemble a halfway decent jigsaw of all of them put together. The history, the economies, the whole thing. But until last year, I could not have imagined that such a place as this existed.

Lenses

Lenticular cloud looking north from North Conway, NH
Lenticular cloud, North Conway, NH
Lenticular cloud over Pinkham Notch, NH
Lenticular cloud over Pinkham Notch, NH

The lenticulars were out today in force, a fleet of them. I’ve read that they’re caused by high winds flowing around mountains. We have an abundance of both, particularly the former the past few days or so.

I’m ready for the former to stop.