Weekly photo challenge: Refuge


Smugglers Notch Valley, 3/7/2010. F 13 @ 1/500 ISO 200 15mm. Canon Digital Rebel xti with a Canon 15mm fish eye lens.

Here is an image that I shot in the Spring of 2010 of the Smugglers Notch Valley and Mount Mansfield in the distance. This is one of my favorite places to shoot in Vermont and it offers a wealth of opportunity for photography if you are willing to shoot off the beaten path. On this day there was still a ton of snow in the valley but it was also unusually warm for the time of year. This location is about an hour from my home in Burlington and I have spent many years hiking and snowboarding in the area.

The valley here contains a pretty elaborate and active beaver pond system which turns into a small river and winds its way down in to the town of Jeffersonville several miles away. The only tricky time to hike into the area is in the winter as the snow pack can be quite deep but it can be done. The best time here I think is in the fall as the area has plenty of Maple trees to produce our fantastic fall foliage season.

On a historical level this image fits in with the theme of refuge as the area was used in times past as a smuggling route to get various commodities into and out of Canada. There are many small caves and places to hide in the area, Many of which hold snow and ice well into the summer. On a personal level I use the area as my personal refuge. It is a great location to get away from the city and to explore the Green Mountains of Vermont. I have explored the area quite extensively and there are still areas that I need to venture into.


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