Date Of Visit: September 15, 2019
Location: Norris Reservation, 10 Dover St, Norwell, MA
Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset
Trail Size/Difficulty: 2.3 miles (129 acres)/easy
Parking: There is room in the parking lot for about a dozen cars and several universally accessible spaces. Since the parking lot fills up quickly, especially during the warmer seasons, parking is allowed on the side of the road in front of and next to the lot. You may find parking in the parking lot across the street (although I never told you that)
Universally Accessible: Yes (there are some boardwalks and even trails, although some of the trails may be challenging as they are rocky and there are some gentle inclines)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: boat house, pond, boardwalks, fishing,scenic views, wildlife
Summary: Once the site of a mill (an unmarked stone along the trail appears to indicate where the mill may have been located), Norris Reservation has pretty views of the North River. An old boat house, which doesn’t seem to be in use any longer, offers scenic views and a nice place to rest during hot summer days.
Website: Norris Reservation
Trail Map: Norris Reservation Trail Map
Named after Eleanor Norris and her husband Albert (who she gifted the land in honor in the wake of his passing in 1970), Norris Reservation was once part of the thriving shipbuilding industry. While the ship building companies have long since left, the reservation and some of the buildings still remain.
One of the most prominent reminders of the shipping industry, mills and boating that took place at the reservation are the boathouse (aka “boat hut”) near the end of the trail and the mill stone placed at the beginning of the trail.
From the deck of the boathouse, there are some great views.
The trails at Norris Reservation are easy. A boardwalk passes over wetlands that encircle Gordon’s Pond.
Since it had rained earlier that morning and, due to the warming temperature, there was a slight mist at the reservation.
There was also some very pretty light and shadows visible at the reservation as the sun began to shine through the cloud cover. While I was driving to the reservation, I had noticed the golden colors, despite the fact it was a bit past the actual “golden hour.” Luckily, the colors and rays of light were still present when I arrived.
Near the mid-point of the trail, where it curves, there is a nice view of the North River.
While I didn’t observe some of the animals known to inhabit the reservation (such as beavers, water snakes, turtles), I did see a duck, frog and this cute chipmunk who seemed to be looking out for predators.
There was also some natural work of art at the reservation. These spider webs were visible on the boardwalk.
Fishing is also allowed at the reservation. One of the visitors there told me trout is a common type of fish there.
Norris Reservation is a dog friendly park. Scout, a 2 year old Golden Doodle, was taking in the seasonably crisp pre-autumn weather with his dad.
Since I don’t usually find light like this during my visits, even during the golden hour, I would mention some basic tips about lighting. While, I am not expert and there are many videos on YouTube that offer advanced tips on this, I thought I would mention some things I noticed while I took my photos.
The first “duh” thing may be to make sure your not shooting directly at the sun and to hide behind a tree or other obstruction, so the light doesn’t give you any flare or sun spots. Also, what you photograph isn’t what you saw when you were shooting, even if you do use the best settings. I kept the ISO at 100 (and I wouldn’t recommend increasing it too much since you want to show the contrast between the ray of light and the darkness and shadows). I also kept my aperture open (with an f stop between 3.5 and 4.5) and a slower shutter speed (between 1/15 and 1/60 sec).
You can always make adjustments in post production. But, I only used minimal editing (such as cropping and adding very little exposure and contrast) because I want to “get it right in the camera” and show what I saw as I saw it. This is particularly true with any photo that includes light, be it sunsets, sunrises or when the light is shining through the clouds or trees.
Attached is a very helpful video about how to shoot natural light in nature