Have to post this one photo of a Chestnut-sided Warbler in full voice. Went to a park very near home and found the bushes alive with birds due to the spring migration. It was mostly Chestnut-sided Warblers with a few Yellow Warblers, Wood Thrushes and Song Sparrows. The males seemed totally driven to out-sing one another, and to jump around trying to find their rivals. Never saw a female, and wonder if the females, as with so many birds, trail the males by a few weeks. Anyone know about that?
Perhaps someone can tell me why this seems humorous. I did not know they could open their beak so wide, but something makes me think he is just a loud mouth doing some bragging.
Visited the Smoky Mountain area in the southeast United States for the first time. In addition to being rich in waterfalls, I expected to find some native wildflowers that were new to me compared to the northeastern US. I have added nearly a dozen new wildflowers to my photo galleries as a result of this outing.
The first stop was with friends who took us to Bald River State Park in southeastern Tennessee. Rather loved this single drop and the plunge pool half way down the drop.
Winter Aconite is often the first wildflower of the spring excepting the Skunk Cabbage. Not native, there are eight varieties that stretch from southern Europe to western Asia and Japan. Introduced as a garden plant, the spread into the woodlands gives me pause at thinking of introducing it into my wildflower garden. Seems a potential problem if it gets out of hand. Nevertheless, it gives a bright burst of brilliant yellow for a few days. I’ve wanted to photograph a rich cluster of Winter Aconite but in the past, the flowers faded before I could get to them. Yesterday, I was lucky at a good friend’s cultivated wildflower garden.
Winter Aconite is a true ephemeral. The flowers fade rapidly and the leaves fully develop to capture the suns energy before completely disappearing by late spring. For those few sunny days in earliest spring, they are a favorite of the bees coming out of a cold winter.
Despite the mild winter, I am, as always come February, longing for the greens of early Spring. The tips of Day Lilies are already showing on the sunny side of the house. Buds are swelling on the trees earlier than usual.
Most look for the tell-tale Robin to signal Spring’s arrival. I’ve found that the arrival of the Turkey Vultures in the gorge behind our house as an equally dependable sign.
The woods of early Spring are often as beautiful and colorful as Fall. The new green is more intense than any other. And the trees glow against the contrast of nearly bare branches that still await new foliage.
Spring blossoms arrive with colors that have been absent for what seems far too long after months of monochrome winter.
The forest floor soon comes alive with new life and the warmth of the Spring sun fills the gorges and fields. The frost is gone, the morning dew is heavy, and I am inspired by the awakening of the earth.
For so many years, Kodak encouraged us to pick a sunny day for our picture taking. “Put the sun over your left shoulder”. Film was slow, cameras were simple, and our memory filled in the blanks. With the sophistication of today’s equipment and the development over the years of digital processing, sensitive sensors with high ISO’s and low noise, you can almost shoot in the dark and get good images. Canon’s new 1Dx body is capable of ISO’s as high as 204,800. Of course it costs $7,000. But such is digital technology today. That being said, what about fall color?
The reality is that sunny days are not the best days for shooting fall color. Actually a day like yesterday with clouds and light occasional sprinkles of rain are ideal days for capturing fall color. The woods are dark and deep, the light is diffuse and even with no harsh contrast, and the rain helps to intensify the color on the leaves. So grabbing the gear and driving around my own neighborhood, I took a little afternoon time to go out and capture a bit of the beauty still evident in this colorful season.
So Hello CNP members. This is your new blog. Hopefully you received an email telling you about its existence and the log in information if you are a member current with your dues. You are invited to become a blogger and write about where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, show your recent photos, offer advice on deals you have found, equipment you like, or even let members know you have equipment to sell or trade. Anything you feel might be of interest to members. So share your nature photo news with us all, and enjoy this forum. Also feel free to leave comments on things others post. It’s easy. Be sure and sign your posts at the end so we know who the author is.
Driving home this afternoon, I was keenly aware of how rapidly, almost overnight, it seems the fall color has arrived. I’ve certainly seen it creeping up. A few trees here and there, the asters at the road side, the sumac reds. But this afternoon it seemed that almost the entire ride home along Rte.89 to Trumansburg was simply alive with new color. Maybe I’ve just been too busy to notice, maybe my mind has been on too many other things, or maybe the change was really that rapid. Regardless, fall is here in all its glory and it’s time to take the cameras and hit the road to revel in autumn beauty. The assignment for the next CNP meeting is “Fall Color”. So let’s go get. Enjoy!