Pat Hatch's PhotoJournal

Night Flight

Went up flying last night and took a few photos of the gorgeous light right after sunset. Vero Beach is situated mainly between the two bridges you see here:

The view from the ocean looking towards the barrier island and Vero Beach.

I put this one up because I liked the weird lights, colors, and the reflections off the canopy. I'm lined up on the runway about a half mile out:

Short final, runway 29L, Vero Beach airport.

Filed under: Photography No Comments


Fletcher Ames Hatch,   b.1883 - d.1963

This is my grandfather, Fletcher Ames Hatch. We knew him as "Pop." He was born in Norwell, Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth in 1905 as a civil engineer. He was hired by the J.G. White & Company, a railroad enterprise, to work as a surveyor on the U.S. government project to build railroads throughout the Philippine Islands.

Later he was hired by the United Fruit Company and was sent to Santa Marta, Colombia as the company engineer for their banana growing operations there. He married my grandmother, Alva Flye, in 1916. Alva (we knew her as "Nano") was one of 8 children born and raised on a coffee plantation high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Colombia. Her father, Orlando Flye, also an engineer, was hired by the Proctor & Gamble Company to establish an electric power plant in Santa Marta, a city on the Atlantic coast of Colombia. Later he started growing coffee up in the mountains nearby, which became a large coffee plantation he named Cincinnati after the city in Ohio that he hailed from. His is quite a story in its own right.

My dad, Buddy Hatch, was born in Santa Marta in 1920, one of three children.

Pop retired from the UFCo. in 1948 at age 65. My memories of him begin around that time when our family would visit their retirement home on the shores of Lake Cochituate in Natick, Mass.

This charcoal portrait of Pop was done by Bettina Steimke, a well-known artist of the time. She had been commissioned by the UFCo. to do portraits of several of their senior executives, for what purpose I do not know. My fondest childhood memories were being at my grandparents' house at 11 Lakewood Road, Natick, MA, where this portrait hung on the wall. I now have it here in my home office. It really is a beautiful piece of art, but more importantly it is what connects me to him and to all of the great memories of my grandparents.

Filed under: Photography No Comments

The Owls are Back

I haven't been around these parts for a while, so it's high time I put up a couple of photos. Plus it's owl season here in sunny mid-Florida. The female great horned has been sitting on her nest since I first noticed her around December 8th of last year. I am sure she's hiding a hatchling or two or hopefully three, but nothing observed so far. I would guess that we'll get a peek by this weekend if last year was any indication. In the meantime, here are  a couple of photos of the female which I believe is the same one as last year.  These were taken yesterday late in the day.

Female Great Horned Owl - Perfect Camoflauge

...and as the sun set we got some very nice ambient light.

These were shot with a Better Beamer. For those who don't know, a Better Beamer is a device added to the flash unit that uses a fresnel lens to beam the light over greater distances. A fresnel is the same lens found in many old lighthouses to beam the light out to ships on the ocean. Well, not exactly the same lens—the lighthouse fresnels weighed several hundred pounds and were made of glass, whereas this fresnel is made of clear plastic and weights only a few ounces. Same principle, though.

Normally when shooting birds that are up in a tree, the camera would naturally under expose the subject because of the bright sky behind it. So the Better Beamer "fills" the shadows caused by the back light.

She sure is gorgeous, glad to have them back!

Filed under: Photography No Comments