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Weekend Roundup. June 12, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Another week of water over the damned, as they say.  Here are a few images culled from the pile, before I retire this ol’ ‘puterbox in favor of This Year’s Model.

Wild mustard beneath a Dr. Seuss cloud:

An old wooden truck bed being recycled by lichen:

A monobow descends over the hills of Bernardston:

The Bridge of Flowers in full bloom:

The local planting season swings into high gear:

A little rain does nothing to slow these folks down.  God bless the farmers!

The first cutting of hay came the third week of May, earlier than usual:

And here’s a view from Shelburne’s High Ledges at sunset, looking back at the Deerfield river running through Charlemont:

There are a few other shots from the week which may yet see daylight, but they’ll be coming atcha from a newer computer (once I get it figured out!)

Later, Peeps.

Small Wonders. April 29, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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This time of year, mosses and lichens pitch their particular brand of woo by flaunting their engorged reproductive structures amidst the decaying detritus of Last Year’s Models.

Here are a few examples of what you might see if you were as low to the ground as I am (well, ok, I got down on my belly to see these intricate tableaus so you wouldn’t have to!)

Spore-bearing structures swell on a common moss:

(I called the photo “moss flowers,” but in fact mosses and lichen far predate the evolution of true flowers.)

Many types of small evergreen plants co-mingle in the moist forests of the Berkshires:

The new grow through the old, presenting a range of textures and colors:

Some spore structures are club-like while others resemble the flagellae of, um, much “higher orders” of life:

These whip-like structures are calyptrae,  and are spore bearing.

…and still others present as fleshy pink protuberances on a sea of baby-blue scales:

And to think that all of these amorous apparitions disappear at the straightening of a spine!

The moral:  Tread lightly on Mother Nature; Get Down and Go Slow – or you might never know what world of beauty just dissolved beneath your feet!

Small Wonders. April 17, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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I got out today, between showers, to see which of Nature’s Children might have been coaxed from their seasonal sleep.  All around there were signs of Spring, from green shoots to buds popping in the trees, despite the dampness and the chill wind.  Surveying the gently swaying world, I opted to hunker down for some ground-level investigation.

My first stop was an overgrown stone wall down by the Deerfield, and there I struck Photographer’s Gold – a world of miniature structures clinging implausibly to the weathered schist boulders stacked along the road to Rowe.

Wading into an ankle-deep slurry of last year’s leaves and this year’s run-off, I contorted my tripod in a way which the better ones accommodate and set to work with Ziggy, my 50mm macro lens.

The results were gratifying for an early-season foray – last year’s miniature perennials poking through a bed of lichen:

…the reproductive trumpets of another stage of that lichen:

…and a tiny fern asserting its presence in a crowd of lichens and moss:

These colors are right out of the box, not adjusted in any way; they’re pretty nice just as Nature made them!

Thank you, Mother Earth; thank you, Father Sky.

Lichen It! April 3, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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As the snow disappears from the ledges and stone walls which abound in New England, the Little Things plump up in preparation for their Spring growth surge.

Lichen adorns a chunk of granite in a cemetery wall east of Amherst, MA.:

Soon the mosses will do their prehistoric best to get their freak on – Film At Eleven!  😉

Ruby Tuesday – Gettin’ Down! May 3, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Down on my belly, that is, an inch from my subject, a fragile patch of woodland lichen, here dressed in its fertile finery and lookin’ Rubilicious:

This one’s courtesy of Ziggy, my Sigma 50mm macro friend, and Mary over at Work of the Poet, who brings us this weekly meme.

Thanks, Grrrl!

Ordinary Moss. May 9, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Amidst the ordinary looking moss of an old graveyard by the Deerfield river…

Dunbar grave yard

…a myriad of miracles awaits discovery.

Come closer, I’ll show you.

The moss is blooming, its erect flowers filled with the day’s rain:

Moss cups

Sheathed appendages rise on filamentous stalks…

moss, sheathed

…while new blooms glow golden in the evening light:

golden moss cups

And don’t miss the tiny flowers:

Viola Sororia lords it over a lichen patch:

brains and violets

Some day I’ll show you that last image in person, large format.

I think you’ll like it.

The Great And The Small. August 25, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death, macro photos.
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Monumental oaks, passionately intertwined:

…and an otherworldly bloom of tiny (1/8-inch) pink fruit on a patina of baby blue lichen:

Different pages in the same book, the Book of Life.

Our page is in there, too.  😉

Mountain Barnacles March 23, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in macro photos.
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These little guys adorn the riverside rocks in these parts, unnoticed by casual passers-by:


Their brittle, unobtrusive Outer Selves contain succulent, fertile cups of apricot hue, deeply shadowed, richly lit. They seem to be overly patient as living things go, retreating into their monochromatic selves till the water returns, then swelling and budding, inverting, exposing.

The growing season begins with these little things and progresses through the obvious, from the first low-lying buds through the profusion of Spring gardens.

I’m looking forward to to this particular Spring. Somehow Winter seemed really adequate this year, and I’m anticipating a classic Spring season, with abundant flowers, more than a usual amount of mushrooms (and some delectables which were conspicuous in their absence last year) and an auspicious start to the gardening season.

Of course, I’m not anxious to get too far out in front of myself, so I’m gonna let it sit right there.

But I just thought I’d share with you that I’m feeling positive about the change of seasons.

While I Can November 12, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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There’s not much left of the “growing season.” So before everything little disappears beneath the ice and snow, I took a last look at the little things, wet with the melt of the morning’s frost, primping for the camera:


There’s a lot happening in that frame.  I get taken aback by the close-up visual complexity of things we so totally miss at arm’s length.

I’m Lichen It A Lot! October 21, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.

This stuff on some rocks surrounding a rural riverside parking area looks like nondescript chalky off-white splotches as you drive (or even walk) by; but get down!


…and be treated to an unanticipated pastiche, a palette of pastels, a revelation of reproductive genius,


A veritable feast of fractal form and function:


It’s another world down here!