An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

November 30, 2010

Three Mornings, Three Skies

Over Thanksgiving weekend we headed to my parents house on Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore. In the mornings I was able to get up early enough to see the sun rise. I would have liked to have slept longer, but the dogs have not gotten adjusted to the time change yet, and once I am up, I'm up, so a walk to the edge of Metompkin Bay seemed like a good way to start the day.

The skies on Thanksgiving morning were what is often termed leaden. However there was a little sliver of pink peeking out from the eastern horizon. The water was calm and the air still, making it easy to hear the snow geese starting their day on the barrier islands.

To The Oysters

Metompkin Skies (2)

This morning the sky seemed unstable and was mixed with several different cloud types. The scenery changed rapidly, it was much windier, almost balmy and my walk was cut short due to rain. About the time we made it to the water, the hunters came out in force. I did not see any of them, but their presence was made known by loud gunfire, causing Loretta to disappear for a while. She made it home, but was anxious to get in the house.

The Pavillion

Metompkin Skies

Dock Sunrise

I awoke to cooler and more seasonable temperatures. Apparently the hunters chose Saturday to sleep in and things were quiet. Though the skies were cloudless, the morning light was crisp, clear and uplifting.
Lang Farm (2)

Metompkin Skies (8)

To The Oysters (2)

Red Grass

Solidago sempervirens


  1. Les,

    These photos look great, the dock sunrise especially.

    I spent 3 months on the Eastern Shore back in 2005 tagging Monarchs. Saw quite a few after sun=rises at least.

  2. I was oohing and awing out loud while looking at these photos. Incredible!!
    The first one on Friday morning is outstanding.
    The hunters' gun fire really freaks Skyler out...he hides all the time.

  3. Wow! These are so amazingly beautiful! Stellar photographs!! Bravo!!

  4. Lovely. I never tire of your images from the shore. Poor Loretta! I jump when I hear the hunters in our hills, too. Last, a technical question: on Thursday sky #2, are you using a graduated filter or that effect in post? You got wonderful detail in the foreground shadows, which is a challenge. However, the result is great stuff.

  5. Glad Loretta made it home safely. Your Virginia is most wonderful and that ocean, well, they say Tennessee is missing only one thing to make it perfect and that is the ocean of course. I miss the ocean too.

  6. This is some of your best work. The marsh grasses on fire take me there. Thanks!

  7. So I guess that's what I would see if I ever got up early.

  8. Good god! You live in such a beautiful place, and you surely know how to capture it on camera.

  9. You've really captured some beautiful shots - love especially first thing Saturday morning.

  10. Pays to be up early, with camera in hand.

  11. This is a great set, Les. I love the rosy hues of the early morning light.

  12. Dear Les, I am in awe of your stunning photography! It is too difficult to choose a favorite ... maybe the dock... Pamela

  13. What a gorgeous, moody landscape, and I love how your eye sees the subtle and varied horizontal planes in such big spaces. Les, it's past time for a calendar for your photos!

  14. Gorgeous skies. And stunning grass shot. Glad it's not only our dogs who are still adjusting to the time change. 4AM is a little on the early side, even for me.

  15. Wow, cool line of pink! Those three are such unusual shots. Thanks to the dogs for getting you up. All three mornings are gorgeous. My favorite image is the second one on Saturday. It looks like an oil painting. You have a really good eye for composition.

  16. Les, ALL, such beautiful photos!

  17. Spectacular skies! Breathtaking, I can't say which photo is my favorite...I think the last 2. Wonderful!!

  18. Beautiful shots. Love the one with the dock and the sunrise colors gleaming on the water.

  19. Les, I've been following your blog for a while and it's always a treat. Your pictures take my breath away!
    What a gift!. Thank you

  20. i think i was just kind of speechless after looking at this post. i mean, how many times can you say, "great photos!" or some such? they are super gorgeous, though. i need to try getting out early sometime.

  21. Les,

    I have always been awed by your photos. May I ask what lensed and filters you use typically for your garden photos and your landscapes?

    Look forward to seeing more!

  22. Randy,
    Sounds like a nice job!

    Loretta associates it with thunder and lightening. For a hound she would be a lousy huntress.


    I did this through the magic of photoshop. When I took the photo I focused on the sky so the light was metered off of it. Back home I isolated the foreground, lightened it and desaturated the color. The result was much closer to what it really looked liked than the original picture.

    If it had the ocean it would not be Tennessee.


    I am glad you were able to come along.

    Sometimes it is worth it.

    It is not all as nice as this, but there is enough to make it worthwhile.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    It does pray.

    This is my second favorite time of day.

    I am fond of the dock as well.

    In a land as flat as this, the horizon takes on special meanings.

    I blame the dogs, but I am unable to stay in bed in the morning.

    You and I had the same thought about the shot you like. I would love to enlarge it and see what happens.

    Thank you. Some of these skies would rival yours.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I often end up on that dock when I am on the Shore.

    Thank you for stopping by and I am glad you enjoy what I do.

    In spite of your speechlessness, thanks for taking the time to comment.

    I do not use any filters and my lens is the one that came with the camera which is a Nikon D5000.


  23. les, haha! the thing is, i looked at it when you first posted it and didnt comment. so i was speechless for, oh, a few days at least. :)

  24. You live in the most amazingly beautiful area. But I also know that some of that beauty comes from your ability to capture it so beautifully in images and words.