January 9, 2013 § 1 Comment
Earlier in the month of November I had filmed three herons feeding simultaneously—the most I typically see at Good Harbor are two at a time. That footage is lost, and perhaps it is just as well because it may not have been the most interesting as the focal length was some distance in order to capture all three in the frame. I found it captivating to see this lone heron feeding alongside the seagulls and ducks, not an event I have often seen. Whenever a dog approached or some other imagined disturbance startled the birds, all would take flight; the seagulls and ducks dispersed and the heron invariably headed to the opposite end of the marsh. This went on for several hours, back and forth, up and down the salt marsh. The Great Blue Heron is majestic in flight, with deep powerful wing beats, and a wingspan of five and a half feet to six and a half feet. Oftentimes difficult to find in the cameras’ lens, the heron’s subdued blue-gray and brown plumage is perfect camouflage against the rocky shoreline, particularly in the pre-dawn light and early hours of sunrise.
“Pavane in F-sharp minor, Opus 50,” was composed by Gabriel Fauré in 1887. Fauré’s “Pavane” obtains it slow processional rhythm from the Spanish and Italian court dance of the same name. The earliest known pavane was published in Venice in 1508 by Ottaviano Putrucci and is a dignified partner dance. The original music seems to have been fast, but like many dances, became slower over time. For this film I looked for a recording approximately 8 minutes in length, although Fauré’s “Pavane” is more typically six minutes long. The origin of the term is unknown; possibilities include from the Spanish pavón meaning peacock.
The following is the same video, only shared on vimeo. I find in both vimeo and youtube you get a better viewing experience if you watch full frame, but i am curious to know what my readers prefer–vimeo or youtube. Please let me know if you have a moment. Thank you!
November 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
While filming B-roll of gorgeous herons, ducks, geese, and gulls this morning, the homies were particularly cooperative. Click images to view larger.
Come to think of it, the sunbeams, the herons, the pearly pink-hued surf caught in the dawn light, and sand turned-brilliant-gold were also cooperating. It must be my good fortune! Several nights ago on my way home from work I purchased my first ever lottery ticket and, although unfortunate in that I did not win the half billion dollars, I feel fortunate everyday, for our shared beauty that is Gloucester.
April 16, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Before Liv retuned to school last month, she installed Instagram on my iPhone so that we could easily share photos. Instagram is very simple to understand–spoken by a techno-challenged person (although my friend Joey from GMG blog recently pointed out that for someone my age, I am not too horribly technologically challenged). There has been much in the news about Instagram recently as the app was purchased by Mark Zuckerberg, for one billion dollars, twice its estimated worth.
December 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
Foggy Autumn Sunrise ~ Featuring Ring-necked Pheasant, November 9, 2011, 7 minute duration
Filmed at Good Harbor Beach on a luxuriously warm November morning. Standing in the sand dunes filming the wildflowers and rising sun I heard a noise behind me, and only several feet away. I turned to see a Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). This is my first encounter with a Ring-necked Pheasant at Good Harbor Beach, but have subsequently learned they are fairly common. I was amazed to see it foraging so close to the public beach and not closer to the marsh where cover is dense. Introduced to Massachusetts in 1894, this game bird continues to thrive in both rural and metropolitan areas. The footage of dried flower heads is of Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens). The opening and final clips show the White’s house, formerly referred to by townspeople as the ‘”Birdcage” because it was wrapped on all four sides with open porches, which have now been enclosed.
Music composed by Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Sesaons Opus 8 Autumn Allegro. Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Itzhak Perlman Violin.
From wiki: The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi’s best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, “Winter” is peppered with silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas “Summer” evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often dubbed “Storm.”
The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi’s Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Contest between Harmony and Invention). The first four concertos were designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi’s original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form.
November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
A thoughtful and beautiful and affordable gift for the holidays!! My friend Joey has created a gorgeous DVD with 21 separate videos he has shot over the last several years. Three of my very favorites are–Good Harbor Beach at Dawn, 2011 Greasy Pole, and the St. Joseph Novena. Featured also is great footage of some of the most interesting and rare sea creatures found along Gloucester’s shoreline — a blue lobster and golden sea robin, to name but a few. Cost of video is 20. and 5% of sales go to rebuilding the Greasy Pole!
July 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) is easily distinguished from the Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) by its smaller size, plume of feathers atop its head, and bright, sunny yellow feet. The Snowy Egret is about 24 inches long and weighs approximately 13 ounces. The Great Egret is roughly 37-40 inches long and weighs about 35 ounces. Plume hunters for the millinery trade hunted both species of egrets to near extinction by the turn of the previous century. Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Snowy is protected by US law and the population has rebounded.
The Snowy Egret’s diet is diverse, consisting primarily of shrimps, snails, small fish, frogs, and aquatic insects. Snowys stalk prey in shallow water, and in the video, you can see it flushing prey into view by shaking and shuffling its feet. While filming (see last half minute of video), the Snowy stepped out of the water, turned gracefully towards the camera, and stood for a moment–providing more than a quick glimpse of it’s substantial, bright cadmium lemon feet.
January 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment