Beech leaves are popping out right now. I’ve often photographed fall beech leaves with their coppery hue and late winter marcescent leaves of papery tan fading to ghostly white, but I’ve never shot a fresh, new leaf as it emerged. The fine hairs on the surface remind me of a baby’s skin!
Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/13, 1/125″ exposure.
Robin and I went for a walk on the Sucker Brook Hollow trail in Williston yesterday. We’d never been on that short trail before, and were pleased to find a bounty of white trillium flowering along the western sloping hillside. White trillium prefer well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soils, usually in second- or young-growth forests of maple and beech, and often grow in large colonies. We certainly encountered such a colony on our walk and would recommend a hike up there to take a look.
Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/9, 1/160″ exposure.
We came across some painted trillium while poking around the beaver pond complex off of Taft Road yesterday morning. This variety of trillium prefer strongly acidic, humus-rich soils, and will be found in the shade of acid-loving trees such as eastern white pine, red maple, red spruce, and balsam fir—pretty much exactly where we found them above the older beaver pond off the Mailbox trail.
Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/16, 1/125″ exposure.
We have two buckeye trees on the property—the one by our back deck that I featured the other day sporting a mantle of snow, and one out by the pond. Both are beginning to leaf out. Buckeyes are prodigious and fast growers, and the bud pictured above will magically transform into a 16″-24″ long stem of new growth and leaves over the summer season. It’s a spectacular thing to observe.
Sony A7II, Sigma 100-400mm lens @ 400mm, ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/320″ exposure.
We had lots of activity around the two bird boxes in our front field the other day as a pair of bluebirds and a pair of tree swallows battled it out for possession. I first noticed the swallows swooping about, chattering, and occasionally perching on the weather station anemometer:
The swallows would swoop in to check out the boxes:
At the same time, a pair of bluebirds were busily guarding both boxes—the female taking up positions on one, and the male on another:
At one point, the more aggressive mail bluebird attacked one of the swallows:
Things simmered down a bit after this attack. I’m not sure which box the bluebirds finally chose (if indeed they did choose one), and we’ll have to see if the swallows will be taking up residence in the other box (the two boxes are about 60′ apart). Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion!
Sony A7II, Sigma 100-400mm lens @ 400mm, ISO 800, f/8, various shutter speeds
Spring beauties are literally carpeting the ground in the upper reaches of the soon-to-be-new Huntington Town Forest in Huntington Center. There are at least 7 species of spring ephemeral wildflowers blooming right now up there, and I highly recommend a hike this weekend!
Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/13, 1/800″ exposure.
Our daffodils have finally decided that it’s safe to bloom. We have several plantings of various colors around our property along with some volunteers that have popped up here and there amongst what becomes the “tall grass” of our front field where they’re beginning to naturalize. A close-in view of the business bits of this blossom clearly shows the central stigma and the pollen coated anthers.
Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/8, 1/200″ exposure.