Feeds:
Posts
Comments

 

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

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

Former President Clinton Campaigns for Martha Coakley

 

As I noted below, the Senate race for the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy here in Massachusetts about as close as it can get, with the election set for Tuesday–just two days away (January 19).   It is Democrat Martha Coakley (currently Attorney General) vs. Republican Scott Brown (currently State Senator)   The tone of the campaign has gotten really heated lately with both candidates flooding the television and radio airwaves with ubiquitous commercials.  Both campaigns are airing incessant attack ads, in addition to ads supporting their own candidates..  On Friday night I went to a Rally for Martha Coakley which featured former President Bill Clinton, a supporter of Mrs. Coakley.   This race has national implications, as Scott Brown has pledged to be the 41st vote in the Senate to kill President Obama’s health care bill.  It is expected, as well, to deny the Senate the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster on all of the items on President Obama’s current and future agenda.  If the Republicans (with a possible 41 votes) are allowed to filibuster, many of Obama’s agenda items may never actually come to a vote.  For this reason, Democrats are pulling out all the stops, with a visit from former President Clinton last Friday night and a visit from President Obama himself yesterday (Sunday) in Boston.  I wish that  I could have attended that one, as well, to get photos of President Obama, but–alas–I had a very important prior commitment, and I firmly believe that commitments must be honored.  

I am posting three photos here from that rally and many more at my flickr site which can be accessed via the photos and link to the far right of this page.  

I have also just begun a NEW WordPress blog  called “This Week With Mitch Grosky.”  This blog will give me the opportunity to reflect and comment on topics ranging from politics, to daily life, to  education, to news, to sports and entertainment–and a whole lot more.   I am saving my political and editorial comments for that post which you can locate at http://thisweekwithmitchgrosky.wordpress.com.  

As for this photo, the data is the following:  Nikon D90, 18-200 VR lens, ISO 3200, focal length of 200mm/300mm, 1/200 sec, f 5.6

Attorney General Coakley, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate

 

As I noted below, the Senate race for the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy here in Massachusetts is neck and neck.  The election is on Tuesday of this week (January 19).  It is Democrat Martha Coakley (currently Attorney General) vs. Republican Scott Brown (currently State Senator)   On Friday night I went to a Rally for Martha Coakley which featured former President Bill Clinton, a supporter of Mrs. Coakley.   This race has national implications, as Scott Brown has pledged to be the 41st vote in the Senate to kill President Obama’s health care bill.  It is expected, as well, to deny the Senate the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster on all of the items on President Obama’s current and future agenda.   

I am posting three photos here from that rally and many more at my flickr site which can be accessed via the photos and link to the far right of this page.  I have also just begun a NEW WordPress blog  called “This Week With Mitch Grosky.”  This blog will give me the opportunity to reflect and comment on topics ranging from politics, to daily life, to  education, to news, to sports and entertainment–and a whole lot more.   I am saving my political and editorial comments for that post which you can locate at http://thisweekwithmitchgrosky.wordpress.com.    

As for this photo, the data is the following:  Nikon D90, 18-200 VR lens, ISO 3200, focal length of 200mm/300mm, 1/250 sec, f 5.6

Rally for Martha Coakley with President Clinton

 

As those of you who follow U.S. politics know, the Massachusetts race to fill the Senate seat formerly held by the Liberal Lion Ted Kennedy has really heated up in the final week before Tuesday’s election.  Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democrat, is in a virtual tie with Massachusetts State Representative Scott Brown, the Republican.  On Friday night I went to a Rally for Martha Coakley which featured former President Bill Clinton, a supporter of Mrs. Coakley.  Sitting on the stage with Attorney General Coakley are (left to right) U.S. Representative  James P. McGovern of Worcester, U.S. Reprentative Richard Neal of Springfield, and Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray.  I am posting three photos here from that rally and many more at my flickr site which can be accessed via the photos and link to the far right of this page.  

 I have also just begun a NEW WordPress blog  called “This Week With Mitch Grosky.”  This blog will give me the opportunity to reflect and comment on topics ranging from politics, to daily life, to  education, to news, to sports and entertainment–and a whole lot more.   I am saving my political and editorial comments for that post which you can locate at http://thisweekwithmitchgrosky.wordpress.com

As for this photo, the data is the following:  Nikon D90, ISO 3200, focal length of 42mm/63mm, 1/160 sec, f 6.3

Uptown Common in Athol, Massachusetts

This photo was taken about an hour after sunset at the Uptown Common of Athol a small town in the North Central part of Massachusetts, about one hour north of Worcester and 90 minutes east of Boston.  Featured is the Athol Woman’s Club Memory Tree, a special way for townspeople to honor and remember their loved ones.  Behind the Memory Tree is the Athol Congregational Church. 

My best wishes to all WordPress readers and contributers for a wonderful, warm holiday season surrounded by loving family and friends!

Nikon D90, ISO 2500, f 3.5, 1/15 sec, 18mm/27mm, matrix metering, incandescent white balance

Orange, Mass. Peace Statue

 

This, the season of light for so many cultures–and the season in which we all pray for Peace on Earth, seems to be just the right time to post this photo of Orange’s Peace Statue.  This is actually the official peace statue of Massachusetts, designated as such by the legislature in 1998.  It is the focal point of Memorial Park in Orange.  The 12-foot bronze statue was created by Joseph Pollia in 1934 as a memorial to veterans of World War I. 

According to Allen Young’s book,  North of Quabbin, Revisited, “The Statue depicts a doughboy just returned from the war-torn fields of France.  He is seated on a stump with weariness emanating from every line of his body.”  Beside him “stands a typical American schoolboy of perhaps 10 years, who is partially embraced by the soldier’s left arm.  He appears to be listening intently to the soldier’s words with fist clenched.”   We can only imagine what the soldier is saying to the boy—what anguish he feels.

A plaque on the base bears these words:  “It Shall Not Be Again.” 

Thirteen stars honor Orange veterans who died in the war.

To all of those who read these words, let me wish you–first of all–a wonderfully warm and peaceful holiday!  Secondly, let us all join together–even as we support our country’s soldiers in war–let us all pray for a time, in the not-too-distant-future, when all men of every race, color, religion, and nationality can join hands in a time of true peace and good will.  Happy Holidays to you all and to your families and loved ones!   —-Mitch

Camera Data:  Nikon D90 –two photos combined in Photoshop Elements 6.0.  Both had a focal length of 18mm/27mm (35 equiv.)  Both were underexposed by 1/3 of a stop.  On one I spot-metered the statue (f3.5 for 1/3 sec)  and on the other I used center-weighted metering f 4,0 for 1/60 sec).

Dubrovnik, Croatia at the Magic Hour

This is an evening scene taken just as we were leaving Dubrovnik, Croatia to reboard our Windstar ship, the WindSurf, the largest sailing yacht in the world, carrying only 308 “pampered guests.”  I love this time of the evening–about an hour after sunset–when the sky is a deep azure blue, just before it turns an inky black.  We visited three cities in beautiful Croatia, Rovinj, Split, and Dubrovnik, called by Lord Byron “the Pearl of the Adriatic.”    I’ll try to post one or two more from Dubrovnik, and then later, I’ll add one from each of the other two towns. 

Note:  I love the way my D90 deftly handles noise in low-light photos, even at an ISO of 3200.

Nikon D90, 18 mm, ISO 3200 (handheld!), f 3.5, 1/25 with 18-200 VR stabilized lens

Tall Ship and Boston Skyline

A View of the Tall Ships Against the Boston Skyline

A View of the Tall Ships Against the Boston Skyline

On July 10 this past summer, my photography club (North Quabbin Viewfinders—www.nqviewfinder.org—) visited Boston to see the tall ships.  The fact that it was also my birthday made it doubly enjoyable as my wife and son accompanied us, and we met my daughter later near Boston.  It was a perfectly glorious New England summer day—sunny, dry, temps around 82-85 degrees.  The sky was a deep blue, and Boston was alive with excitement!   This was one of my favorite shots from that day.

Settings:  Nikon D90, 18-200 Nikkor VR lens, 27mm, ISO 500, f9.5, 1/350, 1/2 stop underexposed.

Sunset in Venice

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.

%d bloggers like this: