Posted by: kerryl29 | December 21, 2016

New England, Day 7: An Introduction to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom

Day 7, my first full day in Vermont, presented a bit of a conundrum.  I was unfamiliar with the lay of the land, though I had a series of suggested driving routes to check out.  The problem was, most of these routes were pretty heavily focused on countryside views.  What’s wrong with that, you ask.  Nothing, really, but the forecast (complication number two) was for a cloudy day, with periods of light rain, i.e. not great for grand scenics.  I did have one specific recommendation to shoot a remote creek–a perfect suggestion for a day like this–so I more or less built a loose itinerary around some locations I wanted to scout in the general vicinity.  (I’ll describe in detail the extremely helpful sources I was able to leverage for Vermont shooting locations in a future post.)  So, I worked generally north and east of St. Johnsbury, covering a large chunk of Orleans County in the vicinity of Barton and part of Essex County, around Island Pond.

Passumpsic River, Orleans County, Vermont

Passumpsic River, Orleans County, Vermont

The weather was indeed cloudy–very cloudy–and, right on cue, there was on-and-off drizzle to deal with, particularly in the morning.  I won’t bore you with many of the details as the bulk of the time was spent scouting.  A fair amount of the foliage was still fairly green, but there were excellent pockets of color all over and the farther north I moved, the better the color was.  By the time I reached the northernmost portions of my wandering, north of Island Pond, the color was essentially at peak.

Red Maple, Orleans County, Vermont

Red Maple, Orleans County, Vermont

Colorful Hillside, Orleans County, Vermont

Colorful Hillside, Orleans County, Vermont

Regardless of where I was at any moment, the sky was a feature-less white, so I omitted it from the frame whenever possible.  I simply eschewed shots that I otherwise would have made but for the sky.

Fall Color Roadside, Orleans County, Vermont

Fall Color Roadside, Orleans County, Vermont

Birches & Maples, Orleans County, Vermont

Birches & Maples, Orleans County, Vermont

I basically tooled around VT-16, VT-58 and several other state highways and spent a lot of time checking out the conditions on a variety of secondary roads.  I did a lot of stopping, noting color conditions and other specifications, and then deciding whether it merited a photograph at the time or whether I should return at a later date.  I did more of the latter than the former.

When I reached Jack Brook–the primary destination for the day–following an interesting drive on a series of lonely back roads, I got out, surveyed the situation, and then spent the next 90-odd minutes teasing out compositions along the creek after donning my rubber boots.  I simply walked up and down the creek bed, after descending into the waterway from the unpaved road.

Jack Brook, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook Black & White, Orleans County, Vermont

Jack Brook Black & White, Orleans County, Vermont

On the way back to the main highway, I found a couple of spots along the road that I found intriguing enough to pull out the camera.

Lost Nation Road, Orleans County, Vermont

Lost Nation Road, Orleans County, Vermont

Lost Nation Road, Orleans County, Vermont

Lost Nation Road, Orleans County, Vermont

From here, it was back to the inevitable drift to the northeast and the exploration of interesting looking back roads and other locations spotted along the way.

Red Maples, Orleans County, Vermont

Red Maples, Orleans County, Vermont

Newark Road Color, Orleans County, Vermont

Newark Road Color, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Mix, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Mix, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Mix, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Mix, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Color Intimate, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Color Intimate, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Hillside, Orleans County, Vermont

May Pond Road Hillside, Orleans County, Vermont

I spent a lot of time scouting around Island Pond without photographing (time that would prove to be well spent when I returned to the area later in the trip), particularly in an ultimately fruitless attempt to visit the Lewis Pond Overlook, which beckoned like Shangri-La.  I finally made my last image of the day when I determined that the road to Lewis Pond Overlook was far too rough for my vehicle.  As much as I wanted to visit the overlook it wasn’t worth taking the chance of getting a flat tire and being stranded in the middle of nowhere.  Been there, done that.

Henshaw Road Color, Essex County, Vermont

Henshaw Road Color, Essex County, Vermont

The day ended more or less the way it began:  entirely overcast with a bit of light rain thrown in for good measure.  There was no sunset; it just got dark.  What’s more, the forecast for the following day was identical and with that in mind I decided to seek out some subject matter that was entirely compatible with the weather.

 

 

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Responses

  1. Beautiful photographs!

  2. Enjoyed the series on Jack Brook; nice B&W interpretation. You proved that a photographer doesn’t have to stay home with overcast and light rain.

    • Thanks! I think the Jack Brook images are the strongest of the set. Many of the others represent a bit of a compromise, in terms of light and composition.

  3. Not bad at all for a day that didn’t hold much promise weather-wise! 🙂 I do miss the brilliant colors of New England fall.

    • Thanks, Gunta. This was, by all accounts, an excellent year for autumn color in New England. I think future posts will show this pretty thoroughly.

  4. I love the colors! Beautiful!🌹

    • Thanks very much!

  5. I am originally from southern Ontario, Canada and in the fall I always remember fondly the goreous reds of the maples.Aside from colour, the Brook series are very pleasing.

    • Thanks, Jane. On a couple of occasions during this trip I very nearly slipped into southern Quebec, but for a variety of reasons it didn’t happen.

  6. Aaaaah, Such beautiful and peaceful photos of my beloved Fall in VT. I’m in love with your Jack Brook images. So beautifully composed.

    • Thanks, Carol! You deserve most of the credit for the Jack Brook images (since I never would have known about the location if you hadn’t told me about it; more credit will be assigned in a later installment).

  7. […] cloudy weather that was ubiquitous on Day 7?  That was the forecast for Day 8 as well.  But there’s cloudy and then there’s […]

  8. Love the tonal range and texture in the May Pond Road Mix shot, Kerry, especially the contrast of the dark green pines against the brighter colors. Many of these pictures remind me of the hills in north central PA where my parents used to live.

    • Thanks again, Lynn. North-central Pennsylvania…are we talking about the area around, say, Williamsport or thereabouts?

      • My parents use to live further west, right on the Clarion River near Cook Forest and Allegheny National Forest – gorgeous country with great fall leaf color on the slopes leading down to the river. Most of that section of northern PA across the top of the state is part of the Allegheny Plateau and Allegheny Mountains and has a distinctive look to it, through Williamsport and as far east
        as Scranton.

  9. […] next stop was Lake Willoughby.  I’d stopped by the lake (without photographing) on Day 7; now, though the conditions weren’t quite perfect (it started and stopped raining again while […]

  10. […] It was still fairly early in the morning at this point and I had to make a decision:  begin making my way east, toward North Conway, or commit to spending a larger chunk of the day shooting in northeast Vermont.  It appeared that it would remain mostly cloudy; I’d scarcely seen the sun the entire time I’d been based in Vermont (five days).  But despite what was shaping up to be another mostly cloudy day, I decided to stay in Vermont and revisit the area around Island Pond that I had scouted on Day 7. […]


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