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Appreciating What You Have When You Have It….

Trying to post a weekend adventure every week is harder than I thought it would be. I realized I wouldn’t be able to keep up with a daily post, but once a week – how hard could that be? Well, as I said, harder than I thought. Between working, getting out and shooting, daily life, and caring for my daughter who is doing well but still battling an illness posting to a blog seems to take a back seat.

This weekend I went to Chaffinch Island, Guilford on Saturday. The tide was lower than I had ever seen it here and I discovered areas of the park I didn’t even know were there! Although a bit mucky and I did sink almost up to my knees a few times I was pleased with this shot and realized there is a lot more to explore. Thankfully I had my waders on and was able to pull my foot out without losing a boot.

Waking up early enough to go out for sunrise on Sunday, but without much enthusiasm I debated where to go vs. not getting up at all. I hadn’t really found a sunrise spot to be thrilled with and I had been going to the same place in Guilford for lack of other inspiration. I finally managed to get out of bed and into the car. Without a conscious decision about why, I headed southbound on I95, ending up at the Milford/West Haven line, Oyster River area. I think I was drawn there because I knew at low tide there are some great tides pools and sand formations from the river. I swear there was a time when I photographed the sun rising at that exact spot – but that’s not where it was this day. I wasn’t feeling the area so I didn’t even get out of the car and without knowing why I headed back towards New Haven along Ocean Avenue just in time to find a parking spot and get down to the beach to enjoy a most beautiful morning.





What’s all this have to do with the title of this post? Growing up in Milford, West Haven – which became known as Waste Haven was not considered a nice area. I used to think, who would ever want to live in West Haven?! Well, West Haven beaches are absolutely beautiful! The sand stretches on and on and you can walk for miles along sandy shores, (even at low tide). Very under appreciated by me for so many years, I now I have a new and perfect sunrise spot to head to, thanks to listening to some intuition of mine that took me where I had no idea I was going. Like life!


Weekend On The Water, East River in Guilford, Neck River in Madison and Amston Lake in Lebanon

I didn’t make it out of bed this weekend to see the sunrise, but I did spend a lot of time on various bodies of water. A real treat since I hadn’t been in my boat at all this summer. Taking care of my daughter through her illness was my priority this year.

The first stop was my old standby, the East River in Guilford. The East River always provides a great paddle as you can go from open water in the hot sun out in the marshy area, all the way to paddling through a heavily shaded spot in a very woodsy area. Salt water all the way to fresh water, or vice versa, depending on where you launch your boat. I’ve been there so many times but it is always a treat! I never get tired of the reflections.



Kept the boat loaded on the car overnight and to work the next day so I would be ready. Low tide limits the accessible places along the shore. The Neck River in Madison provides a good low tide paddle  No shade here, but a nice breeze kept it comfortable and kept the bugs away.



Saturday I certainly could have gotten up for the sunrise……… I guess I had other things on my mind. I traveled to Amston Lake to spend the night at my sister’s cottage. Caught some sunset pics down at the lake. I was happy with my shots, the color started to fade and there were a couple of kayakers that kept disturbing my smooth reflection so I headed up to the cottage for some wine, dinner and etc….


Setting up the coffee maker for the morning I glanced out the window, abandoned my task and raced back down to the lake for the perfect ending!



Weekend Sunrise IV – Branford, Linden Shores and Guilford, Tuttles Point

On Saturday I slept in – 5:10 am. I figured I didn’t need as much time to get to the beach for sunrise because I had planned to go only as far as Linden Shores. I was right about the timing, but again I had misjudged where the sun would peek over the horizon. I thought I had taken sunrise shots at this location previously, so after getting home I checked the metadata on those files and realized they had been shot in February – file that info away!

I saw some amazing clouds picking up beautiful color way off to my left and behind buildings and trees. I had to ignore that and work with what I had right in front of me.  Two weeks ago my only companion was an early fisherman, last week my only companions were Canada Geese who were more surprised to see me than I was them, this week my only companions were bugs. Bugs, bugs, BUGS!  They were getting in my ears, my nose and my eyes!  I stayed around long enough to capture these:




Sunday morning it’s back to Tuttles Point in Guilford where I know the sun rises. I’m looking for new spots close to Branford and Guilford so if you have any ideas please comment here!

It was 58 degrees, enough for me to wear a jacket and I still felt a slight chill. Once again the sky didn’t look like it was going to be very dramatic. Once I set up quickly and took this first shot I realized I had some great company this morning!




I had my wide lens on the camera and didn’t want to make too many movements changing the lens, so these are cropped a bit. They were very curious and didn’t leap away immediately. Especially the little one! What a great surprise!

Even without extra dramatic clouds the morning was beautiful and I got quite a few shots I really liked.



This last one being my favorite of all.



Weekend Sunrise III – Early Morning On The Connecticut Shoreline – Milford/West Haven and Guilford

After photographing the sunset for about 3 years I found myself in a situation where I was no longer able to get out to the beach at that time and I was feeling not so good about it. On the suggestion of a friend I decided to try getting up in time for the sunrise. Having to be on time for work during the week I realized the only time I could get to the beach for sunrise was on the weekends. So, Weekend Sunrise series was created. This is actually the 3rd installment (in case you couldn’t tell by the title). I wasn’t sure I would be able to sustain this project but after 3 weekends in a row I’m feeling pretty excited!

Saturday morning, not knowing the optimum sunrise locations (yet) and still not having the time to venture to fat from home even on the weekend had me heading to a spot I remembered from years ago when I had taken some sunrise shots. Soon after I arrived I realized I had misjudged the location. The sun was actually rising far to my left. I figured I didn’t have time to race around chasing what might the spot, I set up to get some shots anyway – good for later reference I thought. Shooting sunsets in the summer can be a bit of drag because there are always people around! Trying to get a shot without someone obliviously walking right through the shot or placing in a position where I figure I can edit them out later (which I never have time do to anyway) is next to impossible. But, at sunrise – there is no one around. My only companions this morning was a flock of Canada Geese, just waking up. I think they were annoyed to see me. I noticed one of them was limping and I felt so bad. I watched him trying to keep up with his friends and wondered what had happened. I hoped and imagined that he could swim ok – and I thought that when flying he would be fine – they spend most of their time swimming and flying – right? Not so much walking – anyway here are a couple of shots —

I thought some bugs were dive bombing me, but then I realized it was starting to rain, so using good judgement I decided to head for home. Taking the road through West Haven along the beach proved to be the right decision, as I came around a corner on Ocean Avenue I was treated to the exact spot where the sun rises – beautiful purple and blue.

Even with the raindrops, I hung around until it got lighter.

Sunday morning I headed back to the Weekend Sunrise I spot,  Tuttles Point in Guilford. It wasn’t looking so promising, the sky looked too clear, no clouds – but since I was on the road at 5:00 am, I figured I had to keep going.  It turned out to be better than expected, with some nice reflections and no bugs. It was chilly, considering it was August and we had just come off of a heat wave where it had been 80 degrees at 5:00 am – I was really glad to have my jacket, and yes – my boots! At least 25 egrets flew overhead on their way to somewhere…


As the sky got brighter I had to turn away from the direct sunlight – way too bright to get a decent exposure. Still some great color.

And behind the scenes……..

On the way home I discovered where the egrets where heading to! On Rte 146 – just before Shell Beach Road there were at least 100 egrets feeding in the salt marsh. Sorry, I didn’t get a shot – I would have had to go on private property……..




Winter Storm Nemo and Sunset at Old Saybrook Town Beach

If you live in the Northeast, or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter, you are familiar with the recent aftermath of winter storm Nemo. Like most New Englanders I spent 4 days in the house unable to get out of my driveway. The first day after the storm. three powerful ladies with shovels had the driveway cleared before the guy across the street with a snow blower.

Although we cleared the driveway and our cars, we didn’t get far as this was what it looked like where our road should be:

I was happiest this week, when finally freed from snowy entrapment, when I had a chance to enjoy a spectacular sunset at Old Saybrook Town Beach!

Not many people agree with how I shoot landscapes vertically, but these two are my favorites of the night -