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A Freak Of Nature. May 3, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Here’s a wildflower which I at first thought was a Yellow Trillium, but now believe to be an uncommon variation on our standard local red trillium:

…as witness its intergrowing with the more common red variety.

True “Yellow trilliums” are pure yellow, while this variant has reddish veins throughout:

Regardless, it’s beautiful, and apparently popular with the local invertibrates as well:

These I found up at McLeod Pond up in Colrain, MA and captured with Ziggy, my 50mm Sigma macro lens.

Woodland Beauties. April 10, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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In the chill, dappled light of our New England woodlands, the pageant of Spring begins with tiny bits of color amongst last Autumn’s composting leaves.

Walk slowly through the striped landscape of slanting sun and tree trunk shadows.  Stop frequently, and if you have the time, wait for those shadows to sun-dial across the scene; you might be surprised at how quickly this happens, with the cool darkness thrown by treetops moving perceptibly while you hold your breath.

It’s in those shifting slivers of perpetual sunrise that little fires of white and yellow and incongruous maroon twinkle to life, ignited by the warmth and light like waking embers in a rising breeze.

The shy blossoms of Trailing Arbutus peek from beneath inauspicious leaves:

Newly tailored Dutchman’s Breeches flutter on the lines of their still-short racemes:

Spring Beauty ( a Claytonia, in the Purslane family) is abundant just now, but its tiny blossoms close tightly and nod demurely in the early morning cold.  Trout Lily will blanket this area in a couple of weeks, but for now they’re just pairs of fingerling leaves.

And Trillium is about to make its blood-red entrance to the Woodland Ball, though I haven’t yet seen any fully opened flowers:

I actually went to this spot to look for an uncommon Yellow Trillium, expecting to be early, but remembering that I was a bit late last year and not wanting to miss it twice in a row.  These sorts of woodland flowers last only until the leaves above them unfurl – then the show will move to the fields and meadows and roadside spaces.

Look for more woodland wonders in the next few weeks, and I will, too.  🙂

Changing Seasons. May 26, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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One of the more subtle signs of seasonal change here in the Northeast is occurring right now – the parade of woodland wildflowers is fading as the fully leaved trees shade them out.

Not to worry, though; the flowers of the marshes and meadows aren’t likely to be far behind, and in fact are beginning to make their presence known in the form of Hawkweed, Pussytoes and Daisy fleabane.

So before they’re entirely irrelevant, here are a few parting shots from the family of flowering friends found in the forest:

Trout Lilies:

…by the thousands!

Sessile Bellwort:

Wild Ginger, with its unassuming red blossom hiding in the detritus:

I uncovered that one for your viewing.

…and this rare yellow version of the common Purple trillium:

I’ve not seen one of these before, and at first assumed it was a true yellow trillium.  But those aren’t reported to grow north of the Carolinas, and don’t really look like this; they have heavily mottled leaves and a somewhat differently shaped blossom.  I now think this is a mutation of our local purple variety.

Oh, and the Lady’s slippers are out:

I’m hoping to get some good shots of these before they go by.

So there they are, the “late bloomers” of early Spring (!)  There will be a few more before I totally move on, but this is probably my last big wildflower post until the Summer flowers come in.

Enjoy!

A Visit To Mount Greylock. May 15, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Friday’s work had me enduring the worst of what construction survey has to offer, jackhammers and concrete dust in downtown North Adams.

So after work I was ready for something different, and headed up to the access road to Mount Greylock State Reservation, hoping to find some roadside wildflowers.

I did a bit better than that; the gate was open, the first time I found it so this year, and I went the distance.

The Take was pretty good, with Trout Lilies being abundant:

…and the much less common White (Painted) Trillium in bloom:

These shots were taken along the road up to Massachusett’s loftiest peak.  At a humble 3,491 feet it’s not a jaw-dropper, but with 3,000 feet of elevation gain above the surrounding valleys, it still cuts an impressive profile.  This shot is from high up on the northern shoulder:

Clouds approaching from the west portended rain with a display of Jesus Rays:

…then soaked me and my equipment in a brief shower, leaving us as quickly as it had arrived, and with a gift for our troubles:

The evening ended with a return to the lowlands, where a fog was rising from the just-wetted fields:

Thanks to all of you who find the time to share my journeys.  You’re the reason I take my camera with me, and the reason I release the shutter along the way.

A Flower For You All. April 18, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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A red (or purple, as your eyes see it) trillium:

G’Night.

More Spring Surprises! April 27, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Lots of wildflowers popping up these days, some showy and obvious, some tiny and subtle.  Here’s a selection from my ride home from work.

Bloodroot:

bloodroot

Red Trillium:

red trillium

Little White Guys (a.k.a. “weeds:”)

little white guys

…and marsh marigolds:

marsh marigolds

Enjoy!