THE BERRY PATCH


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Theres nothing better to eat in the summer than a fresh bowl of berries with a little bit of cereal on top! So today, my Dad and I went over to Henckle’s Berries in Baldwinsville. The raspberry season had just begun so there were thousands of great big juicy berries everywhere and we practically had the whole field to ourselves! It was a hot muggy afternoon picking berries and we were interrupted by a big 15 minute rain storm. One of my favorite parts of picking is that you can feast out on the berries as you eat, although you run the risk of eating a few spiders and inch worms, but its worth it! We ended up picking almost as many as we ate! Then we headed over to the other side of the road and tried picking a few gooseberries. I had never eaten or seen a gooseberry before, but learned to like them a bit. They are really fun to eat! Now we’ll have a good amount of berries to feast on the next few days!

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These were shot using my Nikon D600 and my 28-70mm f/2.8.

-ZAM

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SUPER MOON JUNE 23


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Did you know that last weeks full moon wasn’t just any ordinary full moon, but a ‘super’ moon?? That’s right, and not only that, but it was one of the most ‘super’ moons you can get.  A super moon is a full moon at the closest position of the moon along its orbit around the earth. What made this super moon one of the most super ‘super’ moons possible was that the exact full moon happened within an hour of the closest point of the moons orbit. It can’t get much more full than that!! The difference is hardly distinguishable unless compared to a regular full moon, but it was still a pretty cool astronomical phenomenon. On June 23rd the moon was 356,991 kilometers away.  If you would like more information about super moons, check out my source on the topic at http://earthsky.org/tonight/is-biggest-and-closest-full-moon-on-june-23-2013-a-supermoon .

Now, I have to admit that this full moon photo wasn’t taken on June 23rd, but just a few days before, but its pretty close!! I was on a bike ride with my dad coming back from the city and we saw the beautiful sunset, so we pulled over at the lake to watch it. Fortunately I had my camera so I was able to capture the gorgeous colors! Then when we turned around, we saw the beautiful full moon glowing over the city. Having not had a lot of success shooting the moon in the past, I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out, so I had to try a bunch of different exposures to make sure I captured all of the detail of the face of the moon without letting the reflection of the sun completely blow out all the details. It really helped that it was right at dusk so we still had come light and color in the sky in order to keep a faster exposure. I ended up hand holding my Nikon D600 with the 70-200 mm at 200mm at f/4 ISO 200 1/400s. The sunset picture was taken at 28mm f/8 ISO400 1/100s.

Hope you liked the shots and dont forget to follow my blog to stay updated on my photos!!

-ZAM

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ELEPHANT ROCK

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Elephant rock was one of our stops on our third day of the road trip my dad and I went on. It was about an hour before we reached the high point of Missouri.  It was a really unique piece of landscape and reminded me a lot of places out west where theres a lot of bare rock and gigantic land forms. We began our hike in a forest, but it slowly wrapped around this big mass of rock that stuck out above the surface of the forest.  There were really cool views from up there and some sweet rock formations to climb around.  It was a fun place to do some interesting photography.  In some shots, because all you see are rocks, it is hard to even tell the scale of them or how large they were.  Hopefully with the one with my dad jumping across a gap between the rocks you can get a better scale of how big these giant rocks were. It was about midday and very sunny when we were shooting giving very harsh like, but as long as you shot with the sun, this brought out a lot of great, sharp texture from the rocks.  It also brought out some very vibrant colors both in the rock and with the nice clear sky, I was able to pull out some very deep blues. With these vibrant colors and harsh light and interesting rock, I took some time capturing some of the unique textures and colors found on the different rocks as you can see on some of these bottom shots. It was a really cool stop and just reminded me of the beauty of the earth.  I still dont really understand how or why these random, elephant sized rocks were just hanging out in this forest, but they were certainly a pleasant sight! 

 

 

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These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.

 

 

-ZAM

 

 

MOUNT MAGAZINE, ARKANSAS (HIGH POINT #32)

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The last guest post from my dad on our last day/hike of the trip:

Our fourth high point in as many days was Mount Magazine in Arkansas.  Once again we were blessed with a beautiful day.  Starting in Harrison, we drove south through the Ozarks, seeing many cows, dilapidated houses and barns, and even a few elk!  We took a side trip to Alum Creek to hike down to the natural stone arch, which was very interesting.  On Mount Magazine, the hike was relatively brief to Signal Hill, the top of Arkansas.  There were no other humans in sight.  Wildlife included only insects.  We had heard about the Lodge and their good hamburgers, but even the good reviews did not prepare us for just how nice it was!  We then took a side trip down to the “edge of the ledge,” where dead and half-dead trees overlook a spectacular drop-off to the valley far below.  Mount Magazine marks my 33rd high point- 32 for Zach.  For now, our next will have to wait.  It was a great trip, spending lots of time with my son doing something that we both love!

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These were shot with my Nikon D600 with a 24-75mm f/2.8 lens.

 

-ZAM

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TAUM SAUK MOUNTAIN, MISSOURI (HIGH POINT #31)

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Another guest post from my Dad:

After a very foggy Easter Sunday morning, the sun came out in the afternoon, and we had a very pleasant day of hiking.  Our first stop was Elephant Rocks State Park.  Those were very interesting and fun to climb around, but not the subject of this post.  From Elephant Rocks, we went to Taum Sauk Mountain, the high point in the state of Missouri.  Located in the St. Francois section of the Ozarks, Taum Sauk reaches 1,772 feet above sea level.  The trail from the parking lot is a very easy concrete trail, barely gaining any elevation.  In fact, out of the 32 high points I have now visited, Taum Sauk would have to be the flattest one of all.  So, we felt a more difficult hike was in order, and proceeded to take the three-mile loop to Mina Sauk Falls.  In places, the trail was quite rocky, and almost everywhere it was very wet from yesterday’s rain, not to mention poorly marked.  Along the way, however, we were treated to some beautiful Ozark vistas.  The waterfall was a nice reward for the hiking, and we could climb a lot of the rocks real close to the main drop.  Altogether, the falls has a drop of 132 feet, and was well worth the trip.  We were amazed at the clarity of the water!  On the way back, we were treated to a couple of herpetological treats- First, we saw a number of lizards sunning themselves in the late March sunshine.  I was surprised to see them at this latitude, altitude, and time of year, and they had a beautiful blue underside!  Secondly, back near the almost-level “summit” the spring peeper frogs were almost deafening in their jubilant song in a very shallow swampy area.  It was our third state high point in as many days!

Taum Sauk-05These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.

 

-ZAM

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WOODALL MOUNTAIN, MISSISSIPPI (HIGH POINT #30)

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This is the second state high point we have hit on our Easter road trip.  Again I will have my dad write the commentary on our trip today:

We spent the night in Tupelo, Mississippi, and even saw Elvis Presley’s birthplace, home church, and the Hardware store where he bought his first guitar.  Then, it was back onto the Natchez Trace into the extreme northeast corner of the state to Woodall Mountain.  By the time we got there, it was raining.  Thinking back, this is the first time in our 30 state highpoint trips that we had rain (though I do remember some sleet on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire on a July day).  It did not bother us too much, however, as Woodall is essentially a drive-up mountain.  There were a number of communications towers at the summit, pine trees, and a large rock that unfortunately had the sign removed.  We signed the register, and for the second consecutive day we were the second “expedition” of the day to reach the summit.  At 806 feet above sea level, it was certainly higher than Driskill Mountain, but might not qualify as a “mountain” by some standards.  As usual, Mokey tried to get into as many pictures as possible.  For this trip, we hope to bag two more highpoints!

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These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8 lens.

 

 

-ZAM

 

 

 

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DRISKILL MOUNTAIN, LOUISIANNA (HIGH POINT #29)

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Since I’m going on this trip with my dad, I thought it would be cool to have him tell you about some of our adventures since he’s such a great writer and has a great sense of humour and just to give you a different perspective.  Here are his thoughts on the first stop of our trip:

Today was a day, and a long weekend, that Zach and I had been looking forward to for a long time.  We got to resume one of our favorite activities- “high-pointing,” this time in the state of Louisiana.  After our night in Ruston (home to Louisiana Tech, Terry Bradshaw’s alma mater), we drove through a sparsely populated region in north-central Louisiana.  We parked next to the Mount Zion Presbyterian Church and cemetery off route 507, to begin the trail to the top of Driskill Mountain.  At 535 feet above sea level, it is the third lowest high point in the US.  (Trivia question- can you name the two shorter high points?)  It was a beautiful and peaceful Good Friday morning.  We hiked through a pine and hardwood forest, with some scattered wildflowers, to the sound of birds chirping.  It was certainly not a long or difficult hike.  The land is privately owned, but high-pointers are welcome, and the trail was well-marked.  At the summit, a new sign has been recently installed, along with a couple of new benches.  Signing the guest register, we were surprised to learn that we were NOT the first to the summit today…two guys from Reno, Nevada has been to the summit shortly after midnight!  For me, this marked my 30th state highpoint, while it was the 29th for Zach.  Our faithful companion “Mokey” has been with us for most of them.  Back at the church, we noted that some of the Driskill family, for which the mountain was named, were buried there in the cemetery.  The weather was perfect, and we moved on toward our next adventure.  (Trivia answer…Florida has the lowest high point, followed by Delaware.)

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These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.

-ZAM

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