Due to climate change we haven’t had winters like we had in the past. In fact the last two winters had such little snow that I shoveled the driveway by hand. And my son’s cross-country ski team had to deal with cancelled and delayed meets. Even this year practices early in the season were mostly running and training in the gym or skiing on a dusting of snow on the artificial turf of the football field.
But now in mid-February we got a string of snow storms that dumped a couple of feet of snow on us. I’ve been keeping the deck, driveway and front walk clear of snow using a good old fashioned shovel – which is great exercise and a nice and quiet way to enjoy the silence of a snowy day but also with an electric snow shovel and an electric snow blower.
My electric shovel is probably 12 years old now. I got it originally for vacation house in the North Conway area. My electric snowblower is more recent. After dealing with a gas powered, noisy, hard to start and frequently breaking down snow blower for years, I sold it at a yard sale and got this electric one.
We had a long driveway in Maine so the gas powered blower was required but here in New Hampshire the entire driveway is reachable by a long electric cord. The gas blower was two stage and more powerful then the electric blower but so far I haven’t run into any storm that it can’t handle, as long as you go slow. The gas blower will chop through anything with its metal blades while the electric blower is made of hard plastic and is designed for smaller jobs. But still its been fine and best of all its quiet and starts immediately. Plus there is no gas to mix and spill.
If you have a smaller area to blow and don’t have killer storms, I highly recommend an electric snow blower and shovel.
Here in New Hampshire we recently experienced two blizzards within days with a bit more snow in the forecast. We had more snow this week then we’ve had in two years! So I’m feeling a bit of pressure to get out and photograph it.
The tricking part is finding the time between A. Being ordered by the Governor to stay off the roads unless its an emergency B. Shoveling out the driveway and C. Simply timing the weather.
Yesterday was 18 hours of snowfall, yesterday clouding and digging out but today was a great sunny winter day with temps in the mid-twenties which is down right balmy if you are well dressed. I decide to take a trip to a small covered bridge in Andover, NH called the Cilleyville Bridge. It always has a big American flag hanging on it so I knew that would look great against the snow. Here is what it looks like in the summer months:
According to the local historians, the structure was built by a local carpenter by the name of Print Atwood. He was assisted by Al Emerson and Charles Wilson. Local folklore suggests that during construction, Emerson and Wilson became upset and cut some of the timbers short, causing the bridge to tilt. On the other hand, engineers might suggest that the tilt is caused by the very nature of the Town lattice truss design.
The bridge was the last covered, and probably the shortest built in Andover. It was bypassed in 1959 and restricted to foot traffic. Located in the Cilleyville section of Andover, it was originally known as Bog Bridge. A Cilleyville Bridge was nearby, spanning the Blackwater river.
After it was torn down in 1908, the original Bog Bridge became known as the Cilleyville Bridge. The roof was reshingled in 1962 at a cost of $600. On March 9, 1982 the roof caved in from excessive snow load. The town repaired it in July 1982 for $3,400. The bridge was the model for the Shattuck murals of typical New Hampshire scenes which were once located in the State House in Concord. The Cilleyville Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It was a great day out. The sun warmed up the roads and melted the snow and ice so the drive over the foothills of the White Mountains on 4A was pleasant and I stopped along the way to photograph around the Shaker Village in Enfield.
The only problem I ran into was that the snow was so high it kept getting into my 10-year-old Sorrel tall winter boots. I had to reach into my boots and pull out handfuls of snow from time to time which soaked my jeans. But at least it pushed me over the edge as far as buying a new pair of boots which I’ve been putting off. The heels on my old boots were basically gone and there were slashes in the sides. What I liked about the Sorrels was they were easy to slip in and out of and I could use them with snow shoes. What I didn’t like was the laces which never stayed tied and eventually I just removed.
I ordered a new pair of these boots from Kamik which are similar but don’t have any annoying laces. Kamik is a Canadian brand and if its anything the Canadian’s know about, its cold and snow. My son has had a pair of these for a few years and likes them.
After the last couple of years of crummy snow conditions it was great getting trip of blizzards this week!
Some people are getting up tight about snow days and the high school year being extended but who cares? My son’s a senior, his graduation day is set in stone. Bring on the snow!
If you live down in Florida or some place where you don’t have snow, this next video will give you an idea of what you are missing. Sure the shoveling is tough but its good exercise.
During the blizzard I like to stay off the roads and let the snow plow crews do their work. Nothing is worse than having to pull cars out of banks and ditches when the drivers could have just stayed at home or maybe planned ahead for that gallon of milk they do desperately needed in the middle of a blizzard.
Luckily in my neighborhood I have this great big old dairy barn to photograph. Its wooden red exterior looks great in the billowing snow storm.
I hiked through the woods, across the road to get these shots of the old red barn in the peak of the onslaught of snow flurries. It was coming down at about two inches an hour at this point and the snow was sliding off the metal roof from the wind blasts.
Getting up close to the barn took a bit of doing. I had my knee high boots on but had to deal with an incredibly steep bank created by the plows and then walk through the layers of ice, six inches of crust and then the eight inches or so of powder snow.
In contrast here is what the scene looks like in the summer time.
One Fine Day in Winter – The Life of the Photographer
Growing up I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine and especially Don Martin’s cartoons which often had titles such as “One Fine Day in XYZ”. Combine that with my new learning challenge of creating videos and you get a result like the above video which attempts to get the viewer a glimpse into my process. Yes, mundane chores like like doing the laundry, giving rides to ski practice and grocery shopping get in the way of the “glamorous” life of the fine art photographer.
Big snow falls add extra challenges. 1. being the driveway has to be shoveled before any play happens. 2. it is often not safe to stop along a roadside when the plows are still working or the ditches are just waiting to swallow your car. 3.when you are the one working from home you get a list of chores to do.
Not all is as it seems in winter. A couple years ago I drove up what I thought was a snow covered driveway but it turned out to be a snowmobile trail and it swallowed my new car. I ended up walking to a country store and buying lunch for a burly landscaper kind of dude with a truck full of shovels to come and help we get out of the snow bank.
Oh the hazards of the job. Full of adventure yet full of perils not shown on a GPS unit. Here are a few captures from Etna, NH after snow storm Nico. 8 – 12 more inches are on the way!
A short movie with scenes from my travels around the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.
New Hampshire and Vermont’s Upper Valley is surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire and consists of many small, wonderful towns and cities. Home to DHMC and Dartmouth College, the ninth oldest college in the country and proudly serving the Ivy League community, Hanover New Hampshire offers the hustle and bustle of an upscale-casual city with a small town feel.
The region along the Connecticut river upstream and downstream from Lebanon, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont, is known locally as the “Upper Valley”. The exact definition of the region varies, but it generally is considered to extend south to Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and north to Bradford, Vermont, and Piermont, New Hampshire.
To buy prints, framed artwork, canvas prints, metal, prints as well as products such as tote bags, cell phone cases, throw pillows and more with photographs from the Upper Valley, visit: http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/
NOTE: The watermark DOES NOT appear on the final print.
I use my photography to communicate my vision of the world. My work deals with storytelling in light and shadow from the beauty, texture and shape of every day objects to wonders of the natural world. — Edward M. Fielding
Fine art photography and digital art by artist Edward M. Fielding. Fielding is an artist working in the photography and digital media. As a freelance artist my work is currently represented by several leading stock agencies.
My work has appeared in featured in numerous magazines, greeting cards, advertising, book covers and media companies as well as been widely shown and juries into fine art shows.
Recently I was one of the featured artists in the PhotoReel art show at Gallery W at the Whitney in the Berkshires.
In addition to fine art photography, I enjoy being a staff educator at the AVA Gallery and Arts Center in Lebanon, NH teaching creative technology such as Scratch and Lego Mindstorms robotics to elementary and middle school children.
Many of the images featured here on Fine Art America are available for rights managed licensing for book covers and other projects from Arc Angel Images – http://tinyurl.com/aww2wzl
All work in this gallery is the original work of Edward M. Fielding. It is for sale, copyrighted to Edward M. Fielding and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws.
Copyright Edward Fielding All Rights Reserved. COPYRIGHT NOTICE:
Edward Fielding retains all rights to these images. It is illegal to copy, scan or duplicate from the website in any form.
Images on this site may not be used for personal or commercial use without written permission by Edward Fielding.
Welcome to the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont!
Welcome the Upper Valley region of the Connecticut River!We were in my seventh year living on Mount Desert Island in Maine (home of Acadia National Park) when my wife hinted at an opportunity to move to the Hanover, NH for a job. My first thoughts were “where the heck is that?” and it better be beautiful to get us to move from MDI.
We had been all over New Hampshire but had never been to the Upper Valley region before. But soon we discovered that this region, anchored by Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, as well has employers such as Hyper-therm and other high tech companies offered an exciting year round quality of life. For all the beauty of MDI in the summer months, it basically shuts down in the long cold winters while the Upper Valley region is bursting with winter activities include nordic skiing and alpine skiing at the areas many ski spots including the Dartmouth Skiway just outside Hanover, Killington, Sunapee and Whaleback. With dozens of other ski resorts within a one hour radius.
Plus the area is only an hour and a half to Burlington, VT, an hour to Concord and two hours to Boston, and a hour and half to the coast – so day trips are available in all directions.
Hanover High School is ranked as one of the top high schools in the country and neighboring Lebanon, NH as well as Hanover show up on magazines lists as the one of the best small town in America.
Hiking trails abound in the area with the Appalachian Trail running right through the heart of Hanover. All summer you can spot trail worn through hikers wandering into town, picking up supplies at the post office and looking for the free shower area the town provides.
Arts and culture abound in the area with local theaters in the surrounding towns including Broadway shows, visiting performers, dance, opera, local theater performances and even High School and college productions. The Lebanon Opera House, Hood Center for the Arts at Dartmouth and the Northern Stage in White River Junction are some of the top venues but there are smaller stages too including the Shaker Bridge Theater or even happy hour singer songwriters at the Skinny Pancake.
Visual arts are celebrated at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, the League of New Hampshire Craftsman in Hanover, the Hood Museum in Hanover as well as movie theaters at Dartmouth and the Nugget in Hanover plus a small multiplex theater over in West Lebanon. Just over the bridge from Hanover is the Montshire Science Museum for kids of all ages to explore the wonders of the world.
Upper Valley – The region along the Connecticut River upstream and downstream from Lebanon, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont, is known locally as the “Upper Valley”. The exact definition of the region varies, but it generally is considered to extend south to Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and north to Bradford, Vermont, and Piermont, New Hampshire.
Sports are big the area especially outdoors activities such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, running, biking, snowshoeing, skiing as well as organized sports such as hockey, football, baseball and basketball.
Events such as these keep the area hopping all year round:
Winter Carnival at Dartmouth
Glory Days in White River Junction
Oktoberfest at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor
The Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival
The Cornish Fair
A Photographer’s Paradise
The beautiful mountains, fall foliage, beautiful winter snow, covered bridges, rural scenery, waterfalls, traditional New England homes and annual festivals all provide a paradise for photographers.
The fall foliage attracts visitors from around the world by the bus load and the multitude of covered bridges in the area, plus the two National Part sites – Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire and the Marsh – Billings – Rockerfeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont are magnets for photography. But so are the more “unofficial” spots such as Jeanie Farm and Cloudland Farm photographed by hundreds and seen in magazines, advertisements and movies such as Forest Gump.
A collection of farm, rural, country living images from artist and photographer Edward M. Fielding. Photographs and artwork taken and inspired by New England farm scenery around the Vermont and New Hampshire area known as the Upper Valley. See the entire collection here – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/farm+life
The Farm Life Collection
The Farm Life Collection includes over 250 images dealing with rural and country scenes of farm animals, barns and agricultural landscapes.
“After The Storm Passes” framed print by Edward Fielding. Customize your print to life with hundreds of different frame and mat combinations. Our frame prints are assembled, packaged, and shipped by our expert framing staff and delivered “ready to hang” with pre-attached hanging wire, mounting hooks, and nails. Ships within 2 – 3 business days. Storm photographs and artwork – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/storm
Vintage Tractor Gallery – a portfolio of over 100 vintage tractor photographs and artwork
Barns, Farms, Fresh Country Air
From Jenne Farm in Reading, Vermont to the backroads of Orford, NH, to walking the dog in Etna, NH, the Farm Life collection captures scenes from old family farms that still work the soil, milk the cows, tap the trees and produce fresh food for local tables.
I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of pressure every year around the fall foliage season. Call it performance anxiety or just simple pressure or something. Every year Mother Nature puts on this amazing show that lasts only a few weeks and usually around the same time it deals out some rather nasty weather from hurriacanes, to tropical storms to snowstorms. Plus this time of year always seems like the crush time when you have kids in school.
Carefree summer is over, time to get back on schedule plus do all those chores you meant to do all summer but it was too hot. Cut, chop and stack firewood, get your flu shot, get some new tires, pull up the garden, batten down the hatches — and sneak out around the region to capture amazing fall foliage shots between rain, wind, drizzle, and whatever comes along.
Then you fire up the old social media and see all kinds of great images being captured by photographers around the region. Where is the peak? Is it past prime? Where did I want to return? Where did I say I wanted to come back when the foliage season begins? What do you mean we have dinner plans during golden hour? Which moon is it and how many more years before its this great again?
And so on and so on. It can get nerve racking especially since there are so many places in New England to see great fall foliage. So many places I’ve already been and so many places yet to explore. In some ways the winter season can be such a relief after the busy summer and fall months.
So far I did manage to get out and take some great fall foliage shots in Vermont and New Hampshire. Even made it down to Cape Cod, although it was a few weeks early.
In a lifetime of photography, you really only need a couple of killer images in a season. I got really lucky this week with a shot of two Adirondack chairs in a park in Norwich, Vermont just over the bridge from Hanover and Dartmouth college. The composition was all mine but the amazing lighting came from someone above smiling down on me. It was a rather blustery day with warm tropical breezes (at least for late November in the Upper Valley) and suddenly the stormy sky opened up a bit and gave me some amazing studio like lighting around my subject.
I kind of like the overcast days we get so often in New England. Its like a giant softbox. As long as you don’t include the sky in the shot, this nice even light can be great. But this particular light was something altogether different because the light was on the foreground but darker in the background. It created a more 3D effect then I would have gotten normally.
The Challenge of Fall Foliage Photography
I see the challenge of photographing fall foliage is in finding a great subject, composing it to show off the colors of the fall AND timing everything with the peaking foliage and the light of the day.
We see the beautiful trees exploding with color filling our entire visual range. The hardest thing is selecting what to include in the photograph in a compelling composition. Often the trees themselves are kind of boring as the main focus, often they are better as supporting actors.
The quick snapshot impulse is to aim at a colorful tree, center it in the frame, snap – and post on social media. Of course as we know these shots typically don’t produce a lasting memory. For something that elevates the image to art, we need a compelling subject to pull us into the image. A fence, a road leading down a path of colorful trees, an old tractor, people, a dog, covered bridge, — something interesting with the colorful foliage engulfing the view.
I live in Hanover, New Hampshire but we’re only short drive from the Vermont boarder. We’re so close to Vermont that kids from Norwich, Vermont attend our middle school and high school. I probably spend as much time in Vermont as I do in New Hampshire, crossing over the Connecticut River on the various bridges – covered and otherwise that traverse the river back and forth between the two states. Of course it should noted the all of the bridges are owned by New Hampshire as the NH state line extends to the opposite side of the Connecticut River. This includes the longest covered bridge in the country – the Windsor-Cornish covered bridge.
Both states share a lot of things in common that make for great photo opportunities including:
New Hampshire tends to have a lot more trees. Deer hunter friends of mine give Vermont a better rating because the state has more open areas for deer to flourish but both states have a healthy wildlife population of large mammals such as black bears, moose, deer as well as birds such as the ducks, turkeys, loons, eagles, hawks, owls, geese and song birds.
Both have mountains. New Hampshire has the more dramatic White Mountains range with Mount Washington being the highest peak in the Northeast while Vermont has the Green Mountain range with Mt. Mansfield in Stowe being the highest peak.
Only New Hampshire has a sea coast. Its tiny but its there and it manages to include the rather photogenic and historic city of Portsmouth. Vermont doesn’t have the ocean but it has the impressively large Lake Champlain and the Burlington waterfront. Then again New Hampshire has the lakes region with the very large Lake Winnipesaukee as a centerpiece.
I have to give Vermont the edge on having more scenic farm land. New Hampshire tends to be more forested and hillier. The farmland south of Burlington is flatter and easier to find compositions although if you look around enough there is plenty of great old red barns, cows, farm houses and old farm junk to photograph in both states.
As far as attractions go, New Hampshire has the edge on amusements. Vermont’s attractions tend towards shopping and food. Vermont has the Yankee Candle Company, Basketville, The Vermont Country Store, The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Ben and Jerry’s, The Cider Mill as well as many beer breweries such as Harpoon in Windsor and a handful up in the Burlington Area like Magic Hat and Switchback. Meanwhile New Hampshire has Storyland, the Cog Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad, Clark’s Trading Post and Canobie Lake Amusement Park.
As far as National Parks – Vermont has the Marsh – Billings – Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, VT with hiking, an historic mansion tour and a working farm to explore. New Hampshire has the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH which is also in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.
Since both states are relatively small, you can travel around both in a small vacation schedule. Each has a life times worth of places to explore, hike, ski, boat, hunt and photograph but you can also pick out some highlights in each state to visit and savor.
Tractor photography season is here, at least that’s how I see it. I live in a rural area of New Hampshire near the Vermont boarder and one thing we have plenty of is tractors and nice old vintage tractors. These are not museum pieces although we have those also on display at the Tunbridge World’s Fair and the Cornish County Fair and other places around the area. Clubs dedicated to restoring and preserving old tractors.
But beyond the museum pieces we have a lot of great old farm equipment in use in the hay fields and pastures around the region. Beautiful old beasts, some in great shape, others coaxed into working condition with a squirt of oil and a kick to the carburetor.
I’ve come to know several of these great old farm machines as they move around the neighborhood plowing this field one week and another the next week. Some of the old Ford machines have nice rounded bonnets that remind me of art deco styling in their blue and white two tone paint jobs. The John Deere’s sport their famous green and yellow colors while the MF’s wear a coat of red paint. No to be confused by the really one machines covered in rust.
Newer machines seem to be eye popping orange or bright red or that green/yellow combination. One thing you can tell by looking in the yard of a local farmer is the brand loyality. These beasts of the fields seem to last forever and if they ever are retired usually they are added to the line up in the back 40 or out by the utility barn. Maybe they’ll be scavenged for parts or be restored at some later date if there is any time left after a busy day working the farm but one thing seems for certain, its tough to get a loyal customer to switch brands, at least by the look of things.