November is coming to an end and like every year it is time to complain about the terrible conditions for photographers. It doesn’t help that the dismal stick and mud season comes immediately after the glory of our incredible autumn color, but this is New England, and there is always something to photograph as we await the magical coating of snow. I have talked about the attractions of late autumn in previous articles, including the rusty display of the leaves as they surrender to the ground, leaving the stark patterns of the bare branches. November is a great time for hiking with the cool crisp air, open views and most importantly, the absence of bugs. I have covered this topic before, but, although I’m still working on the pictures, I thought it was a good time to look at some of the special opportunities that came along with this November.
Late Season Gold
|Chesterfield Gorge Color|
November is not just about flat colors and dull vistas. It is a time of remarkable change, and although it often ends with dustings of snow, it begins with the persistent gold from the brave Oaks and Beech trees. I enjoy the less gaudy colors and the lack of strong early November storms allowed the leaves to hang in longer than usual.
A Time to Think
|Roads End Mist|
November is the cloudiest month of the year. Its soft light and especially the mist make for a quiet contemplative time without gaudy distractions. We had a number of beautifully soft foggy days to enjoy this year, which contrasted nicely with the stark lines of the bare branches.
Always the Farms
|Grazing to the Vermont Hills|
There is always activity on the local farms that I consider my own. The cows were grazing on the hillside with the snow-covered Vermont mountains in the background and the horses of the Roads End Farm in Chesterfield New Hampshire were industriously cropping the last blades of grass from their pastures before the long winter confinement.
One of November’s traditional attraction is flowing water. This year the autumn rains have been scant, but in the last few days we have enjoyed a few showers to fill the brooks. Close to home Beaver Brook and Chesterfield Gorge are great places to catch the cotton candy look of our flowing water.
|Otter Brook, Sullivan NH|
|November Super Super Moon over Monadnock|
As everyone knows, November was graced with super Super Moon. I don’t have anything more to add to last week’s “Bah Humbug” article about super moons, except to apologize and acknowledge that the event was a special break from our typically uneventful season.
November is a time to gather with family and friends, and this year the usual Thanksgiving feast at home was supplemented by a wonderful family wedding in Tarrytown New York. My nephew’s wedding was a perfect excuse to get together with almost everyone from Susan’s family and both Jeremy and Abigail were there, looking good and with their significant others.
|Color Along the Hudson|
The additional bonus was that even in late November there was still color in the trees along the Hudson River.
|Croton Gorge Dam|
I also managed to get out early one morning to visit Rick Sammon’s favorite local waterfall at the Croton Gorge Dam in Croton on the Hudson New York. The flow was meager, but it is still an impressive structure holding a large reservoir.
|Abigail & Grayson, Gina & Jeremy|
Thanksgiving was a more intimate affair with only 14 family a friends gathered around our abundantly stocked dining room table. As always these occasions are great times to capture candid portraits while everyone is dressed up and expecting to be photographed. The company was warm, the food was amazing and I now have only a few weeks to recover before the Christmas festivities.
I also learned a few important lessons about photographing the Thanksgiving table. First, get everyone in the picture. Secondly, shoot early before the table is in chaos and before much alcohol has been consumed.
|Otter Brook Cascade|
It hasn't been such a bad stick season. As November rapidly comes to an end, and until the snow flies, we can continue to enjoy the special quiet autumn joys of the season.