Dates of Visits: Winter, 2022
Locations: All over Massachusetts
Some of you may wonder what am I up to when I don’t post on WordPress. Admittedly, I don’t post on here as often as I would like to or should post. But, I am still out photographing things!
I don’t always post on here whenever I take photographs, especially if it’s from place I go to frequently. So, I thought I would post photos from last winter with a brief description of the photos. I found this post to be fun. I also think it helps show what I’ve been up to in between blog posts! I hope to do this after each season. You can find photos I don’t post on here on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/newenglandnomad/ or Instagram new.england.nomad_
Wollaston Beach, Quincy, MA (Feb 4, 2023)
I took these photos on the coldest day of the year. The actual temperature was -9 degrees with a -31 windchill factor. I dressed warmly (basically 2 eyes poking out of a balaclava and every part of my body covered as frostbite can set in very quickly on unprotected skin in these conditions). All I could think of during this shoot was the planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back movie. I wasn’t going to go out on that day figuring it was dangerously cold and my bed would be much more comfortable. But, I heard and saw other photographers talking or posting about how they were eager to go out in the elements. This got my competitive juices flowing! I also figured it is a once in a lifetime (hopefully) event. So, off I went! I came home after and tried to warm up the remainder of the day!
Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary (Marshfield, MA)
I took this photo of Piebald deer at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Feb, 2023
When I first spotted this deer, I thought he or she was molting (a process when some birds and animals shed their fur or feathers). But that only usually happens during the fall or spring. So, it was too early for that.
After asking a friend who knows about these things and doing some research on my own, I realized the deer had a condition called Piebaldism. No, Piebald is not a new type of pastry or desert!
Found in a variety of animals including humans, Piebaldism is condition that involves the absence of mature melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) in certain areas of the skin and hair.
The deer below has a rare genetic abnormality called Piebald. Piebaldism is found in some white tail deer. But it is not very common. Only about 2% of the white tail deer population has this disorder. However, it can cluster among herds and be spread among entire herds in a particular area
Besides the distinct coloring of their fur, Piebald deer also exhibit other features visible in the photo such as skeletal misalignment, shortened legs, crooked legs, bowing of the nose, deformed hooves, shortened jaws as well as internal organ deformities.
Piebaldism is the result of a genetic abnormality that leads to a lack of pigmentation in certain places on the body. It is not clear what causes this abnormality as there have not been enough extensive studies to know for certain. It does appear to be spread genetically,
You can find piebaldism in other animals as well. Horses, dogs, foxes, cattle, cetceans, pigs and even snakes also may exhibit this abnormality. While they may experience some challenges, most animals with this condition often live full and overall healthy lives.
I also spotted this seemingly one legged Great Blue Heron. practicing their balance. Many birds do this as a way of keeping one of their legs warm. Their feathers offer their legs warmth during the colder seasons.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary (Topsfield, MA)
I often visit this sanctuary. So I have quite a few photos from there. I have selected some of my favorites. But, first I wanted to post photos of one more colorful residents, Jasper.
Jasper, a Redtail Hawk, can often be found gliding through the air or, if you’re lucky, hunting his prey (some photos are of a graphic nature)
I was also able to make it out there just after a snowfall.
While some of the residents do migrate, there are quite a few who stay year round.
Bird feeding, by hand no less, is a popular activity at the sanctuary. They especially appreciate it during the winter
I’ve also been photographing sunrises and sunsets throughout the colder months. These are a few of my favorites from the past season.
Independence Park, Beverly, MA
Riverwalk, Springfield, MA
And, of course, I photographed a few holiday displays