Fall Family Photos

The leaves are changing around most of Vermont, but last weekend they were just getting going in Burlington.  With a 5 month old and a 2 year old, we didn’t want to stray too far nor take too much time out in the ~50 degree weather, so we headed down to the Burlington Intervale.  The leaves may not have been colorful, but did we ever have a beautiful day!

As any sane two-year-old would on a beautiful Vermont morning, Winslow only wanted to run around and have fun. We took a few minutes off and let him play in the puddle (keeping mostly clean!) before we started up again. He may have been squirmy in some of the posed photos, but his cuteness makes up for it completely!

What an adorable family.  Thanks for spending some time out in the brisk fall weather!

Squirrels. Why did it have to be squirrels?

When the snow melted, I saw all these little things over my lawn and got curious where they came from.

When the snow melted, I saw all these little things over my lawn and got curious where they came from.

The problem I had was this... a squirrel chewed through my (relatively) new siding and into my attic. Yesterday, I put up the heavy screening you can see, which kept him from getting back in, but didn't stop him from chewing some more and making a hell of a racket last night.

The problem I had was this... a squirrel chewed through my (relatively) new siding and into my attic. Yesterday, I put up the heavy screening you can see, which kept him from getting back in, but didn't stop him from chewing some more and making a hell of a racket last night.

Having solved the blockade issue yesterday, my challenge tonight was to prevent the squirrel from doing any more damage (to the house and to our sanity.) Having used cayenne pepper to keep rabbits out of the garden, I figured it might work on the house, too. These were the contenders.

Having solved the blockade issue yesterday, my challenge tonight was to prevent the squirrel from doing any more damage (to the house and to our sanity.) Having used cayenne pepper to keep rabbits out of the garden, I figured it might work on the house, too. These were the contenders.

The winner. A slight back story. The powders all smelled too sweet and we didn't have cayenne in the house. Tobasco is OK, but didn't seem all that hot. The chili oil is some of the hottest I've ever cooked with, but while my mouth remembers being scalded by it, my nose wasn't impressed. The Dumb Ass Hot Sauce I've had in the house for a while. Why, you ask? Well, because it's so damn hot that I fear using it on many foods. This hot sauce made taco soup so hot that Fluffy wouldn't finish his serving and had to beg for mercy.

The winner. A slight back story. The powders all smelled too sweet and we didn't have cayenne in the house. Tobasco is OK, but didn't seem all that hot. The chili oil is some of the hottest I've ever cooked with, but while my mouth remembers being scalded by it, my nose wasn't impressed. The Dumb Ass Hot Sauce I've had in the house for a while. Why, you ask? Well, because it's so damn hot that I fear using it on many foods. This hot sauce made taco soup so hot that Fluffy wouldn't finish his serving and had to beg for mercy.

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But how to apply it?  Aerosolize it.  If it’s good enough for anthrax, it’s good enough for me.  I found an old spray bottle in the garage; it had previously been used to apply paint stripper, so it was probably laced with all sorts of poisonous chemicals to boot.  Bonus.

Under no circumstances what-so-ever should you test your sprayer in the kitchen.
I drenched the opening as much as I could, spraying into the louvers and onto the screens beneath as well. It should be noted at this point that wearing a mask and goggles is probably a good idea, should you try this yourself. Dumb Ass Hot Sauce really burns the nose & eyes! Definitely apply in a well ventilated area, preferably at arms length or further, standing upwind, and above your target. Don't ask why I make these recommendations. At least I didn't fall off the ladder.

I drenched the opening as much as I could, spraying into the louvers and onto the screens beneath as well. It should be noted at this point that wearing a mask and goggles is probably a good idea, should you try this yourself. Dumb Ass Hot Sauce really burns the nose & eyes! Definitely apply in a well ventilated area, preferably at arms length or further, standing upwind, and above your target. Don't ask why I make these recommendations. At least I didn't fall off the ladder.

I suppose I could have gone after it from the roof...

I suppose I could have gone after it from the roof...

You can't forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way; as long as you don't have allergies. If you rub your eyes at this point, you're pretty much screwed.

You can't forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way; as long as you don't have allergies. If you rub your eyes at this point, you're pretty much screwed.

Fresh Snow at Snowbird

We woke up to falling snow and the sound of snowplows and snowblowers.

Woke up to fresh snow at Snowbird / Alta, Utah

Tawny, on our warmup run down Mach Schnell.  20091230_Snowbird_4689
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Jake in the Black Forest woods.

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9-year old Sam ripping some turns in loose snow.

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Tawny, cruising on some post lunch runs.

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My Aunt Theresa, skiing the trees near Bananas off of Gad-two.

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Cruising down to the house on our last run of the day.  We were going to make one more until we realized that it was nearly 4pm!

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Woke up this morning to clearing skies and another few inches of snow.  Can’t wait to see what we find today!20091231_Snowbird_4949

You can’t fight nature, so you might as well roll with it.

Yesterday, the skiing at Stowe wasn’t all that, but the company was good. Having someone around to laugh with makes rough conditions much more entertaining. Today, the plan was to head to Smuggler’s Notch for some quick lift served laps. Last night, I heard that Smuggs delayed their opening until Tuesday which left me a dilemma; do I skin somewhere like Bolton where the conditions would be much like yesterday or do I head to Smuggs to skin under the snowmaking.

It turns out, the answer is neither. The skiing is just getting going and the fact that we don’t have snow in the Champlain valley means that the mountain biking is still pretty good. I headed to Saxon Hill instead with the intent of riding around and taking some photographs. It turns out, I wasn’t the only one with biking on the brain; there were between 10 and 15 cars parked at the end of Thompson Drive when I turned the corner.

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The trails are dry, though the leaves sometimes obscure the less traveled routes.

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Evidently, it's cold enough for snow. Someone should tell mother nature that we've had enough rain.

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Proof: it's not just Texas and Kansas that get snow!

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Self-portrait action photography presents a bit of a challenge without a wireless remote.

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A Few Great Senior Portrait Sessions

I’ve had a few great senior portrait sessions recently. This past weekend I photographed my brother in law in New Hampshire. Chris is the starting varsity goalkeeper at Souhegan High School. I knew we needed some standard portraits and Chris’ Mom made a request for a soccer shot of him in front of the net. Once I knew we had some more traditional portraits in the bag, we took out the lights and created a few dramatic portraits.

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The more traditional portraits:

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Earlier in the week, I photographed Erika at the Mills Riverside Park in Underhill, VT.  When we arrived there were a dozen school busses and a high school cross country meet going on.  This meant we couldn’t shoot in the places I was most familiar with, but I think that worked in our favor.  We scouted out a few locations and made some great photos!

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