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Springing Into Winter. April 16, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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5 comments

After last week’s flirtations with the ninety-degree mark, we’re headed for a spell of more seasonally appropriate weather, namely sleet and freezing rain in the high country, and just plain miserable in the valleys.

So before they’re all gone, here are some shots of the woodland flowers who had the audacity of hope before the world was ready for them.

Some tiny blue-eyed grass*:

…as yet unidentified.

Some similarly anonymous little pink things [*Trailing Arbutis – thanks, jomegat, for both of these names!]:

Bloodroot, wrapped in it’s leaf-cloak for the evening:

…and an early wonder, the nearly leafless Coltsfoot:

…improbably thriving in the sandy roadside strips where other plants languish.

This morning on the way to work there was snow up in Florida, with more forecast for the weekend, so this may be the last of the delicate things for a wee bit.

Except, of course, for shots already in the can!  😉

A Visit To Mt. Greylock. June 4, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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7 comments

I had occasion to work last week on the far side of Mt. Greylock, at 3,491′ the highest point in Massachusetts.

It’s not a huge  mountain, but I’d hate to have to paint it.  And even now, at the beginning of June, its weather can be surprisingly brutal, with high winds and dense clouds shrouding the place in powerful plumes of mystery.

So I came home from work by taking the auto road up the southern ridge and over the top, first in weather which kept me swaddled in a hoodie and raincoat, the next day in “better” conditions which allowed me to get the camera out so you can see it, too.

Along the Rockwell Road, a single picnic table with a view to die for sits on a little knoll:

picnic table

It’s pretty sweet.

This is a great low speed drive along a narrow, winding road, making its way to three thousand feet above the farm fields below:

NA view

The road was reconstructed last year, and just reopened about a week ago.  It was a really nice road job, with great pavement and really neat log-and-steel guard rails, very National Park-y looking:

new guard rails

The forest type up here resembles something more commonly found a ways north, up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or the Greens of Vermont:

krummholz

The summit is adorned with a non-functional tower, the Veterans’ Memorial Tower, which leaks like a sieve and has nearly translucent “viewing windows.”

Vets' tower

The best views are gotten by parking (pay in season) and walking around on the broad, domed summit.  Plus, that’s the only way to see the small things.

Clintonia borealis, or Blue Bead Lily:

blue bead lilies

Bunchberry, a.k.a. Cornus canadensis :

bunchberry

I thought these were single-flowered plants, but a little reading clued me that a clump of tiny yellow flowers sits surrounded by four white bracts, not petals, to give the overall impression of a much larger (1/2 inch) flower.

Here’s a shot of Cypress Spurge, Euphorbia cyparissias,  whose tiny pale flowers are in turn host to a world of complex and beautiful sub-structures:

cypress spurge

By contrast, the seed-heads of coltsfoot are simplicity itself, glowing orbs pole-dancing in the wind, stark and prescient as the plants fail into their future:

coltsfoot seeds

Greylock is primed to erupt into Full Spring Glory, and I hope to have a chance to share that with you.

Cheers, TCR