Saturday, May 5, 2012

West Peak in a New Light

I love hiking on cool, foggy days. It's not gloomy, it's moody. No one is on the trails, and if you have a camera that can take pictures in low light, it's great for photography.  Here's the proof:

Walkbook Rock - same camera, same photographer, different light. 
That's the view on the Connecticut Walkbook West cover. The left photo was taken on April 27 in bright sun, and the right photo was taken on May 3 in the fog. I'm using a Panasonic G-2, which is what they call a "micro four thirds" camera. Almost a DSLR but not quite. The sensor is a lot bigger than a point-and-shoot, allowing me to take pictures in low light, but the camera is lighter than a clunky DSLR.

Here's another comparison of sun vs fog lighting.  The dampness brings out color. Rock is darker when it's wet, and plants are covered with tiny water droplets.

Columbine in the fog

Columbine in the sun a week earlier.

White Trail, Hubbard Park. An easy trail.
So let's enjoy the cool damp weather before summer strikes and take a walk through the park.   Instead of focusing on the "gloom" of the overcast day, look at how vivid the new green growth of spring is. I'm starting down below West Peak at Hubbard Park and hiking up the Metacomet because there's a section of trail I haven't hiked yet. 

Climbing up the talus slope of West Peak
The down side to wet weather is the wet, slippery rock, and trap rock can be especially slick. Walking sticks came in handy.

Rising into the low clouds that surround West Peak
This part of the trail might be a hassle to go up in normal weather, but because I was going into the moody fog, it was really neat.

The trail goes up through a notch created by a fracture or fault zone that left behind slabs of trap rock. Slick! 

Metacomet Trail

West Peak - No view today.

Radio Towers on West Peak

After snapping a few shots of foggy West Peak, I descended back to the easier trails of Hubbard Park, which were starting to dry out even as West Peak was up in a misty fog.

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood

Box Turtle

We discovered a box turtle really close to I-691. I hope he manages OK. The species as a whole is threatened because it reproduces very, very slowly. A box turtle can live up to 100 years.  Let's hope this one lives a long life at Hubbard. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your morning hike. Beautiful pictures.

  2. I like the atmospheric fog photos and the dog sniffing the Box Turtle is classic!