Covered Bridges of New England

I love New England! One of the many regional attractions are its covered bridges. They scream out NEW ENGLAND!  Every New England state has them. Most go back to the 1900’s and were used daily by the local population. Today, they are still used, and are major attractions to both photographers and artists looking to capture a true piece of New England architecture and landscape.

Tannery Hill Bridge – New Hampshire

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White Mountain Nat’l Forest Covered Bridge – New Hampshire

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Pemigewasset River Bridge (1886) – New Hampshire

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Blair Covered Bridge  (White Mountains) – New HampshireBlair BRidge-6469

 

Middle Bridge – Woodstock Vt.

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Martin Bridge – Vermont

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Jeffersonville Covered Bridge – Vermont

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Gorham Bridge – Vermont

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Cooley Bridge – Vermont

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Bridgewater Covered Bridge – Vermont

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Quechee Covered Bridge – VermontQuechee Covered Bridge - CW-

Taftsville Covered Bridge – Vermont

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Lincoln Gap aka Warren Bridge – Vermont

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Chamberlin Mill Covered Bridge, Lyndon, Vermont

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Murder, Mayhem and Christmas

Over the years, I have developed a bit of an addiction to reading holiday themed mysteries around this time of the year.   Murder, mayhem and Christmas make for a good holiday treat. I thought  I would list a few seasonal mystery books I have read over the years that you may enjoy.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas- Agatha Christie

Technically, I have not read this yet. I bought a copy a couple of days ago and just began it last night. But hey, it’s Dame Agatha, so it can’t be bad.

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 Silent Night – Robert B. Parker

Robert B. Parker was one of my favorite authors. This slender volume was left uncompleted when the author passed away in 2010. The book was completed by his long time editor and friend Helen Brann. Subsequently, we got one last Spenser novel from the master. It’s not Parker at his best, but even middle of the road Parker is better than none at all.

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The Spy Who Came For Christmas – David Morrell

Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of my favorite cities to visit. David Morrell, born in Canada, has lived in Santa Fe for many years. He knows the town and uses it’s famed art strip, Canyon Road, as the setting for this fast paced snowy Christmas Eve thriller.

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Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop – Otto Penzler

For 17 years, Otto Penzler commissioned a Christmas themed short story from one of his favorite mystery writers. The one criteria, besides a Christmas setting, was the story or at least some of it had to take place at Penzler’s famed NYC Mysterious Bookshop.  In 2010, he compiled the stories and published this excellent collection. Among the authors, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, S.J.Rozan and Mary Higgins Clark. A must read.

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Wreck the Halls – Sarah Graves

I earlier mentioned New Mexico as one of my favorite places to visit. The great state of Maine is another. Like New Mexico, I have been to Maine a few times. On one of our trips, my wife and I went to Eastport. Maine, the eastern most city in the United States. While walking along the small town’s main street we came across a hardware store. We noticed there was something  odd about its window display.  In one corner, there was a series of paperback books, all by one author…Sarah Graves. Intrigued, we went in and browsed through some of the books and decided to purchase two. The woman behind the counter, then asked us if we would like the books autographed? The author was upstairs, she said pointing to a staircase toward the back of the store. We climbed up and sure enough, there was Sarah Graves sitting at a desk. We talked for a few minutes, and she signed our books. While I never found out, I suspect Ms. Graves owned the hardware store. It would make sense, but then again, like her books, it’s a mystery.

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Shadows of a Maine Christmas  Lea Wait

Like Ms. Graves, Lea Wait is a Maine author, and she captures the state’s atmosphere superbly in her series of cozy mysteries. You genuinely feel like you are in small town Maine. Murder, a bit of violence, and long buried secrets all come to light in this holiday treat.

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A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Okay, it may be a bit of a stretch to include Dicken’s classic as a mystery, but think about it; the book is filled with suspense, ghosts and a bit of mayhem. I have read A Christmas Carol several times over the years and it’s always a pleasure,

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Black and White Photo Challenge

There has been a meme going around on Facebook where you are “challenged” to post a black and white photograph, one each day for seven days. No explanation, no details required. Just the photograph.

Now that I finished FB challenge, I thought I would share all 7 photos here beginning with my day one entry at the top and working my way down.

 

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Day2

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Egret in Black and White

I photographed this egret at a nearby rookery a few years back and never did anything with it. Like so many photos, as you continue to shoot more and more, older works sometimes get buried and forgotten about. Originally shot in color, I finally decided it worked better as a black and white. Here is the final results.

You can see more of my work by clicking on John Greco Photography.

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San Miguel Mission – Socorro

  • san-miguel-mission-socorro_dsc6703_cw-6703The final stop on our black and white shoot photo walk was the 400 hundred year old Sam Miguel Mission in Socorro. It’s small and not particularly spectacular looking inside compared to other grandeur missions, still it’s a stop that is worth doing for many reasons.

 

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The current mission was built on top of the original mission, the Nuestra Senora de Socorro, that was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. The original mission goes back to  about 1626. Fortunately, a piece of one of the original adobe walls survived and is visible for all to see. It is situated near the alter and is protected by a glass window.

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Today, the San Miguel Mission remains a vibrant part of Socorro’s local community. According to the head caretaker, who leads a 17 person team, hundred of parishioners attend mass every week.

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In 2016 the San Miguel Mission was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

You can travel directly to my earlier post, Socorro, New Mexico in Black and White,  by clicking on the link below.

https://johngrecoblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/socorro-new-mexico-in-black-and-white/

 

 

 

 

 

Socorro, New Mexico in Black and White

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   Black and white photography has remained a passion with me over the years, though it has taken a backseat to my color work. When I first began to take photography seriously, more years ago than I care to remember, I shot mainly in black and white.  Since the age of digital, I have shot in color and only on occasion after taking a photograph and looking at it in Lightroom thought, wow, this would make for a good black and white shot. What I have not done in many years is go out specify with the intent to look for and photograph in black and white. That was about to change…

   On our recent trip to New Mexico we, my wife and I, drove down to Socorro, after spending a day and a half in Santa Fe (more about that in a future post).  Socorro is a small historical town about a good one hour drive south of Albuquerque straight down Interstate 25. The attraction was to go to the nearby Bosque Del Apache WLR which is a few miles outside of Socorro. We left Santa Fe on Wednesday morning.  Every year at this time, Bosque del Apache hosts their annual Festival of the Cranes which celebrates the fall migration of thousands of Sandhill Cranes back to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter. The festival is a week-long feast for nature photographers and birders of all levels. It filled with classes and guided tours led by knowledgeable instructors from all over the country.

   New Mexico, over the past dozen years or so, has been one of our favorite places to go at this time of year. Generally, we made our way to Bosque del Apache the week before the festival, avoiding the crowds, but still finding thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese as well as other birds and species at the refuge. A few year years ago we decided for the first time to go during the festival and signed up for a few classes. This year, after looking at the selection of classes, and finding three that we were excited about, we decided to  do it again. The first class was on Wednesday afternoon and would not take place at the refuge but in Socorro.  Led by Boston based photographer, Don Toothaker, it was called Socorro in Black and White (bet you were wondering when I was going to get back and make the connection to my opening paragraph, huh?).

  That afternoon, we spent walking around Socorro’s town square/plaza and its neighboring area looking for perspectives that lend itself to striking monochromatic images. One of the benefits of going with Don was he was able to gain access to photograph inside some of the various local buildings such as the historical Garcia Opera House, the 400 year old San Miguel Mission and a few other places that we would have not had access to otherwise. For me it was a chance to go back to my photographic roots (not to sound too dramatic) searching for images that lend itself to the art of black and white photography. Below are a few samplings.

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