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The Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock

This past December, my wife, son, and I visited New York City for a wonderful mini-vacation of three days and two nights.  Although I was born in New York and have gone back for many a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, and funeral over these past many years, this was the first time I had gone back as a tourist.  We visited Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bronx Zoo.  Not bad for just three days!  Late one night on the Brooklyn Bridge–near midnight, as I recall–I crossed paths with a friendly young jogger on  the Brooklyn Bridge.   When I mentioned being a native New Yorker who was visiting after a long absence, his quick but warm reply was, “What took you so long?”

Nikon D90, iso 400, 52mm focal length, 1/2 sec., f4.2, matrix metering, 1/3 stop underexposed

© Mitchell R. Grosky and Mitchell R. Grosky Photography Blog 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including all photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 7 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 42 posts. There were 8 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 14mb.

The busiest day of the year was November 12th with 592 views. The most popular post that day was Arches National Park’s Double Arch.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were search.aol.com, en.wordpress.com, maggiescamera.wordpress.com, obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for boston skyline, arches national park, boston, little rock arkansas, and new hampshire.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Arches National Park’s Double Arch October 2008
6 comments

2

Boston Skyline 2 January 2009
10 comments

3

Boston Skyline from the Charles February 2010
6 comments

4

Little Rock, Arkansas Sunset February 2009
8 comments

5

Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains November 2008
4 comments

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The Quabbin Reservoir from The Enfield Lookout in Ware, Mass.

As I return to my blog, after many months away, I wanted to speak about an area I find myself visiting more and more often:  the beautiful Quabbin Reservoir.  Visits to this vast area fill me with feelings that are truly mixed –my ambivalence  showing all too plainly on my face:  feelings of awe and wonder as I look around me mixed with sadness and bitterness as I remember its origins (See previous blog entry).  I come across ruby-red columbine, delicate ladyslippers, and ferns of every shape and size. Occasionally I am pleasantly surprised by a doe or buck peering at me through the woods.  More often I stumble upon newts, turtles, or dragonflies.  For better or worse, I have never come face to face with any of the Quabbin’s reported inhabitants: coyotes, bobcats, black bears, beavers , raccoons, moose, and foxes.    As of yet, I have not seen any of the Quabbin’s famous bald eagles or red-tailed hawks, though many of my friends have viewed these majestic birds.

The photo above was taken at sunset on a day during which I was introducing my brother and my sister-in-law to the sheer magical beauty of the Quabbin.  We were at the Enfield Lookout in Ware, Massachusetts.  As gorgeous as the view clearly was, our joy was greatly tempered by the realization that the waters sitting several hundred yard below us covered the remains of the town of Enfield.

The Quabbin Reservoir’s supplies 2.4 million people (most from Boston and over 40 communities in the Boston Region) with 260 million gallons of water a day.  All of this water came at great cost to the nearly 3000 citizens of the four towns that were destroyed in order to create this huge reservoir.  What remain for the citizens here is a vast wilderness of indescribable peace,  solitude, and beauty.

Nikon D90, focal length 70mm, f 5.0, ISO 250

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The Quabbin Reservoir--New Salem Overlook

Once (and for about 200 years) there were four lovely, small towns in North-Central Massachusetts.  There nearly 3000 people lived, farmed, built small industries, attended school, worshiped in church, celebrated births and graduations and grieved over losing loved ones.  In Dana, Greenwich, Prescott, and Enfield, families built their homes and lives together.

All of this came to an end in April, 1938 when the four towns were sacrificed–dismantled, torn apart, and flooded–in order to create the Quabbin Reservoir.  This huge reservoir provides drinking water to the city of Boston and 40 other cities and towns in the Greater Boston region (among them are Arlington, Belmont,  Brookline, Chelsea, Clinton, Everett, Framingham, Lexington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Newton, Norwood, Quincy, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Waltham, Watertown, and Winthrop.  It also provides water for Chicopee, Lynnfield Water District, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, Southborough, South Hadley, Weston, and Wilbraham).

It contains 412 billion gallons of water in an area of 38.6 square miles, but its watershed area is a full 185.9 square miles.  It is 18 miles long, and its shoreline is 118 miles, in total.    Its average depth is 51 feet, but it is 150 feet deep at its maximum depth.

In the past month, I have spent more time in the Quabbin—in parts of the Massachusetts towns of New Salem, Ware, and Belchertown–than in the previous 37 years I have lived here in Central Massachusetts.  It is a lovely area–ideal for hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities.  Yet, as I learn more about its origins,  I realize that every time I visit, just as I am enchanted by its beauty, so too am I saddened–often beyond words–by the awesome and awful sacrifice that four towns made so that Boston and 40 other communities could have pure drinking water.

Nikon D90, focal length of 32 mm, f 7.1, ISO 250, cloudy WB

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Boston Skyline on the Charles from Cambridge, MA

In December, my wife and I spent spent a lovely night in Boston, staying at the Hyatt in Cambridge, right on the Charles River.  The major reason we chose the Hyatt was that I knew that it had this gorgeous view of the Boston Skyline.  I shot it hundreds of times from late afternoon until late at night.  This shot is one of my favorites.

Camera Data:  Nikon D90, ISO 400, f16

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Santa Maria Della Salute n Venice

Santa Maria Della Salute in Venice

This is a view of the Santa Maria della Salute Church in Venice.  It is a great example of Venetian Byzantine Architecture.  According to Wikipedia, “Starting in the Summer of 1629, a wave of the plague assaulted Venice, and over the next two years killed nearly a third of the population.”   By October of 1630, almost 50,000 citizens had been killed by plague, and the Venetian Senate made a plea to God—that if  God would end the plague, they would build a Basilica in honor of the Virgin Mary.  The plague did end soon afterwards, and the church was built  at the intersecton of the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Basin.

Settings:  Nikon D90, ISO 640, Nikon 18-200 VR, 105 mm, f4.0, 1/50 sec (handheld), -1.00 exposure) 

 Note:  I love the lack of noise in low light images with both by D90 and (to an even greater extent) by my D700.

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Grand Canal in Venice

Grand Canal in Venice

In most of my blog  entries to this point, I have been displaying many of my New England and United States photos.  Those who know me best, however, know that my wife and I love cruising, in the Caribbean and throughout the world.   After an absence from my blog, due to traveling, family illness, and just being really busy, I am ready to blog again—-and for a while, I’ll be showing photos from around the world.

In August, my wife and I went on a cruise from Venice to Slovenia and Croatia.  In Slovenia, we visited Koper, and in Croatia, we traveled to Rovinj, Split, and Dubrovnik.  I took my Nikon D90 with me and my Nikkor 18-200 VR lens, along with a polarizing filter and a mini-tripod.

This photo was taken on the Grand Canal as we slowly cruised down it on a vaparetto. As the sun was setting, it cast a golden glow on the colorful buildings, though it left the gondoliers in the shade.

Settings:   Nikon D90, ISO 400, f6.3, 1/160, 78 mm, 1/3 stop underexposed

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