In the middle of winter, I normally think nothing of getting up before 5AM to get to a location by the post 7AM sunrises. Summer is much different. Sunrises are now only a bit after 5AM, with good light starting during the 4AM hour. A two to three hour driving or hiking window equates to a sleepless night, which, until school is out, is simply not an option. So, the season of over-nighting at locations begins.
For me, over-nighting doesn’t always mean a backpacking trip, as I’ll often drive to a photo location, and sleep in the car until good light. But this weekend we chose the former, a nice hike to Flat Mountain Pond in the Sandwich Wilderness of Central, NH.
The hike to the pond is a fairly easy approach, with about 4 of the 5 miles following an old logging railroad grade. There’s even still evidence of the railway itself, not yet salvaged for scrap metal. The shelter sits at the south end of the pond, near a small dam, which makes it a popular place for swimmers and fly fisherman…and I’m glad I had my fly rod with me as well yesterday, as the trout were active.
Sunset was interesting, but tough to shoot, as was the moose who refused to show more than a fleeting glimpse as he sauntered around the shoreline. Dinner was amazing…but everything tastes better in the woods…especially Annie’s mac and cheese with tuna! Besides that, the only notable was the persistence of black flies…who’s season has passed in SoNH…but is quite strong up north…
I woke up at 3:45 to the sound of Swainson’s Thrushes and White Throated Sparrows, and looked out of the shelter to see clear skies, and a heavy mist. Not a breath of wind disturbed the pond…and out I went to shoot. Now I’ve claimed to be a morning person on numerous occasions here, and this morning I had no problem getting my mind in shooting shape. My legs though…gave out on me on the wet rocks along the shoreline. Fortunately it was a warm morning…
Sunrise was just beautiful, with the mist slowly changing from gray to flame as the sun rose higher. A pair of beavers was the only disturbance to the pond, and birdsong was the only sound in the air!
After sunrise, I turned my attention to flowers…and the winds stayed calm until nearly 8AM. The heavy dew made for some neat shots of bog laurel, and I found some nice painted trilliums as well. I’ll post more of those shots next blog.
It’ll be a pretty busy few days, but I’ll try to post a blog for tactics and techniques for misty mornings in the days ahead as well.
Thanks for following along on the hike!