morning reflection in Harold Parker State Forest in Autumn

Harold Parker State Forest

A quick look North of Boston at the Harold Parker State Forest

Recreational opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, camping and picnicking.

Entrance to state forest

As the middle of October arrives in my neck of the woods, my trips begin to get more relaxed because I don’t have to drive nearly as far to find beautiful color.

Just 10 miles away is the Harold Parker state forest (42°37’32″ N 71°4’11″ W) and for those who like to get out into the woods but don’t want to over exert themselves, then this is a place for you.

biking in the state forest and trails

biking in the state forest and trails

Overall they’ve got 3000 acres of ponds, swamps, rolling hills and rocky outcroppings. There is camping from May through September and visitors use the logging roads and trails for hiking, walking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

Wildlife abounds in the state forest and people fish from non-motorized boats or the shore. Birders of all stripes will be happy with the numbers of feathered friends that they can find along the trails.

The great blue heron waits in the golden autumn colored grass waiting for breakfast.

Blue heron waiting for breakfast to move.

From the Harold Parker state forest you can travel a short distance into Middleton mass or Andover Massachusetts. A short drive further will take you into either New Hampshire or up into Cape Ann where you can explore the areas around Gloucester and Rockport. You can read about the hidden images of Gloucester in this article.

fall colors reflected on the pond.

fall colors reflected on the pond.

While I can stop in here anytime during the year, the autumn in the Harold Parker state forest is my favorite time. The marsh grasses turn a golden hue and  the Maples and other deciduous trees give a wonderful show of autumn reflections on the surface of the ponds.

No matter what time of the year you come to visit Harold Parker state forest, you’ll find both relaxation and quiet contemplation to be the order of the day.

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

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New England scenes featured

I recently had one of my images receive a nice recognition on fine Art America.

Marblehead Massachusetts is a Short Dr., North of Boston. I live in the next town over and wind so motivated to get up before the dawn, (coffee is usually required) I’m sometimes lucky enough and rewarded with an image like this. I took many images this particular morning and this one with the sun streaming through the clouds and the horizon all pink and orange just made me want to share with you.

I’ve had several images featured in different groups on fine Art America and if you wanted to stop on the site and leave me a comment or maybe share this image with your friends, please click the image at the bottom which will take you to my fine Art America page. Thank you for supporting artists!

Three different groups featured this Marblehead Massachusetts sunrise on their pages. This is my way of showing appreciation for receiving this recognition.

Marblehead harbor from Crocker Park. The sun breaks through the clouds streaming down to the water showing pinks and oranges on the horizon as the sun begins to climb the water is flat and motionless reflecting the color of the morning

cloudy sunrise on Marblehead harbor

Groups featuring my New England photograph

ALL SEASONS Landscapes, admin Bob and Nadine

New England Photographs, Admin Elizabeth Dow

Creators Guild, Admin Ronda Douglas

if you want to see some incredible imagery provided by artists from around the world, please stop in and visit these three groups on fine Art America.

you can view my New England fine art imagery by clicking on the image below.
Photography Prints

Jeff Folger
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If you’re interested in fall foliage in New England visit my Jeff foliage.com blog for planning tips and locations for incredible fall colors

A view from the Quechee side looking at Taftsville

Taftsville Covered Bridge back from the dead

The taftsville bridge prior to renovation or Irene. it was a little beat up but it was useful

The taftsville bridge prior to renovation or Irene

The Taftsville covered bridge which was one of Vermont’s oldest covered bridges (built circa 1836) and was mostly destroyed in August 2011  by tropical storm Irene.

After Irene rolled through New England many of our covered bridges were in need of renovations

After Irene rolled through New England

The Storm took down half the over all structure and left the road closed between Woodstock and Quechee for two years. The Taftsville covered bridge was a well used road used by locals traveling between Quechee and Woodstock Vermont and spans the Ottauquechee river.  The local businesses have held on because a lot of customers use this bridge to get from one side to the other. The only other way is to go up on the highway to come in from the other side.

As you can see here the kings truss beams were the only thing keeping the two sides of the river connected with each other.

The bridge grand re-opening,  On Sept 7th 2013

A view from the Quechee side looking at Taftsville

A view from the Quechee side looking at Taftsville

On Sept 7th 2013 the covered bridge was officially reopened.

The interesting fact was the bridge was scheduled for a 1.9 million refit in 2012 but these plans were scraped when Tropical storm Irene came through.

The Overall cost exceeded 2.5 million and was in jeopardy due to president Barack Obama wanting to remove funding from the historic buildings bill that was funded in 2009.

The take down crew came from the Wright Brothers Construction and the new construction was done by Alpine Construction. As you can see, even though the economy is down they still managed to get the funding needed to bring the old bridge back for future generations to enjoy.

I don’t know if the current construction is the same mixed King truss and Queen truss construction but as soon as I get word I will update this writing.

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

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Preying mantis in your garden

A macro look at  my Preying mantis & fall colors

Art PrintsEarlier this year I started writing about managing pests in your gardens and no I wasn’t writing a real garden piece. I wrote about raising mantids which eat a lot of the nasty insects around your garden.

Mantids just arriving in the world

Mantids newly hatched

Well this spring (once again) I picked up a couple Ootheca egg casings. One I left outside under my maple and oaks. The other I put in a terrarium that I made from lexan. I put in dirt and sat it near the window and set my tripod up and need only to wait until the day time temps started averaging in the 80s.

newly hatched mantids exploring their new surroundings

newly hatched exploring

At the end of June I was rewarded with my mantids hatching. They are very small and you won’t normally notice them. What you may notice is a stringy mass hanging down as they burrow out of the Ootheca (egg casing).

Mantids have a well deserved rep as a carnivore

well deserved rep as a carnivore

They hang there for a while and then after a short period they start exploring their surroundings. I figure I had about 75-100. For the first day or two this is ok but I rapidly found out their nature as carnivores is well deserved.

mantid enjoying lunchSo to keep them from eating themselves, I released a bunch into the garden. I had about 25 left over and I proceeded to find some insects to put in the cage with them. I found a bunch of lime green larva flying bugs and I found the mantids really loved the new food source.

The mantids started growing daily and I released some more into the garden and I was down to 4-5 and as I started running out of the winged larva I tried other insects but they were hard to catch. (it was easier when I was 8 yrs old)

 

The largest of the mantids was hanging on the lid and I got my macro out to find out that she was molting out of her skin. This is when a mantid is most vulnerable to attack.

a three panel shot of the Mantid molting

mantid molting

Pretty soon I was down to one Mantid and I released her to the garden and I wondered if I would see her again.

Fall arrives with a guest

Preying Mantid attracted to my fake fall colors

Preying Mantid attracted to my fake fall colors

Well I had pretty much forgotten about the mantid population in and around my garden this summer. One of my neighbors said she had one again in her decorative grass bush but I didn’t see any sign of her this year. See my pest removal article to see her camouflage in the grass

I was surprised in Oct when I was passing the back door and spotted something out of place. The something turned out to be one of my (I assume one of mine) mantids.

She (I also assume a she as it was very large) was in good health and looks to have fed well over the summer. I photographed her with my macro lens and even my cell phone. The mantid against the bright colors contrasted real nice.

I’ll probably continue to do this each year although I can’t say for sure that having the mantids loose in the garden and woods is helping as I still get a mosquito bite on my deck and the winter moths were back this past week in record numbers… But it is interesting to view the cycle of life around the Preying Mantids.

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

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Round barn on North Hero Vermont

Fall colors and places along Lake Champlain scenic byway

You pick up Route 2 on the Canadian border and then follow it south until you pick up Route 7 in south Burlington and there you travel further south to Middlebury Vermont.

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More details on this Fall scenic Route can be Found at  http://www.nephotographyguild.com/2013/09/lake-Champlain-scenic-byway please enjoy the slideshow. and New England fall colors.

 

Jeff “Foliage” Folger — Got Foliage?

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The informal English name for the order is the mantises, or sometimes (using a Latinized plural of Greek mantis), the mantes. The name mantid refers only to members of the family Mantidae.

Natural pest removal for your garden

Natural pest removal for your garden comes in many forms. From non-caustic chemicals/oils to other bugs to combat the first problem bug. (what then happens to the new bug? Do I need to new bug for him?) :-)

Problem: Winter moths love maples, elm and to a lesser degree oak leaves. A few November’s ago I came home to a fairyland scene in my headlights.

Thousands of winter moths had hatched and were flying all around laying eggs in my trees. I love my maples (as you can imagine) and the winter moth loves my maples also! :-(

Enter the Mantid!

Solution: The last two years I have tried a natural remedy for my winter moth problem. I was asking at Highland Nursery just up the street from me about what I could do?

Treatments for winter moths

They said it was too late for oils which have to be sprayed on the trees while dormant (February) and they said come back in May and get some mantid eggs (Ootheca).

Mantide are ferocious hunters and very effective at keeping bug populations down and our winters are a bit too much for them so they may mate and leave a Ootheca casing but it doesn’t always survive.

The first year out of 4 egg casings,I put out, I found one mantid in the fall. All 4 casings had gotten knocked out of the bushes and I assumed birds had gotten them.

So with 1 survivor, I had hope for the following year. The second year I made a chicken wire basket surrounded by a larger wire basket and I wired it all into our lilac bush.

On July 4th as friends were arriving I took a look and saw movement around the casing. Did I mention how small they are? well 30 or so had come out and I ran to get my tripod and macro. The trip to the beach was delayed until “She who must be obeyed” put her foot down.

Appearance of an adult

The informal English name for the order is the mantises, or sometimes (using a Latinized plural of Greek mantis), the mantes. The name mantid refers only to members of the family Mantidae.

Adult mantid or Prey Mantis

In the fall my neighbor said she had a mantid in her bush and I told her that it was one of mine! I photographed the adult over the next few days.

This year I picked up my mantid casings and I built a plexiglass terrarium and placed one Ootheca in there and the other out in the lilac.

I’ll go into more detail on the camera and light set up in the next installment where I hopefully have some mantid to show you!

Soapbox alert! shop local and buy American!

Natural pest removal for your garden and containers of mantid egg casings and ladybugs to eat all the other bugs.

Highland garden nursery has ladybugs and mantis for sale! Support your local garden nursery instead of the big box

I want to take this moment to say if you are here in Salem then please stop in at highland garden center and support the small business man.
I know Home depot and Lowes have tons more stuff but please give the local guy a chance first!

Highland garden is at 355 Highland Ave, in Salem MA

While you may be in Texas or California reading this, I bet you know of a small business near your home that could use your dollars more than a big chain store.

I found a page where they talk about raising Mantide and they say you can feed the nymphs ground burger. So maybe I don’t have to fill the cage with lots of bugs.  That will make my wife much happier. :-O
We just opened a Gallery in Salem so please like our Facebook page

http://www.instructables.com/community/Feeding-baby-praying-mantis-newly-hatched/

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

To buy an image from this article just visit my sites below or contact me.

*New* I’m now on Fine Art America
Visit my Art images on Vistaphotography
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Photographing the photographer

What is the life of your pictures?

What I’m asking is how long do they stay around? If they are of the kids and family they will probably be around for a few generations (do we need to talk about backups?) :-)

 Photographing the photographer…

This may have you wondering what I mean by photographing the photographer. Have you wondered about all those hundreds or thousands of people around you at an event? I mean look at the Boston bombing. Thousands of pictures were snapped in that area and the police were able to piece that all together.

I usually don’t think about it but last week I guy came up to me saying I looked familiar. Henry Zbyszynski is a Salem street photographer, and he came up to me outside my new Photography gallery (The Four Corners of New England) and asked if I shot fireworks?

I said I had shot the Salem fireworks in 2008 and he said he thought he had some images of me. I asked him to send them to me.

My view of the fireworks over the Friendship from down the Quay

My view of the fireworks over the Friendship

The crowd was starting to gather and I was glad I got there early. Marking my territory.

The crowd was starting to gather and I was glad I got there early.

I was amazed, to say the least! and I confirmed for him that it was indeed me. I never even noticed him taking my picture, or at least I don’t remember him. It seems I was engrossed in reading my Photoshop user.

From this angle I produced these images.

The fireworks at the end of the quay light up the Friendship. They end a day long event filled program with vendors and music filling the park.

Explosion in red above the mast of the Friendship

Explosion in green above the mast of the Friendship

Explosion in green above the mast of the Friendship. The fireworks at the end of the quay light up the Friendship. They end a day long event filled program with vendors and music filling the park.

As you can see, a good photographer visualizes what will happen and places himself accordingly. Or he guesses real well.

The interesting question that I asked Henry was why did he keep these shots for 5 years?

I would have dumped them because they had no monetary or art value… (especially no art value) :-)

He just said that this is what a street photographer does… Now I wonder how many more shots of you and me are out there on peoples cameras?

What do you think? Does this bother you or do you not even think of it?

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

To buy an image from this article just visit my sites below or contact me.

*New* I’m now on Fine Art America
Visit my Art images on Vistaphotography
Visit my Stock Photography on Photoshelter
Follow me on Twitter
Visit my explore New England fall foliage blog
Join my New England Fall Foliage page on Facebook
Please like my Facebook foliage page

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