05.22.2015 Trout Lily Closeup

Here is a close look at an almost opened American Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) from a few weeks back.

TRout-Lily-Closeup-050315-700WebTonight starts 10 days off from work to photograph wildflowers and cascading water…I hope. Maybe a few other subjects as well.  :-)


Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

05.21.2015 Button…sort of

Reishi?  It could be Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi and prized by herbalists) or a Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-banded Polypore and also reported to have medicinal properties)…I’ll have to go back later in the season after it is more fully developed.  A more informed mushroomer may know right away, but I am not as sure.

They are so cute when they’re young.  :-)


Posted in Closeup Photography, Fungi, Mushrooms, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

05.20.2015 Hemlock Blaze Scar

While hiking Monday I came across this damage to a hemlock tree.  I did not know what caused this so asked a forester friend on Facebook, Kate Marquis, if she knew and it turns out that these are property line markings…blazes.  We see blazes most often as painted shapes leading us on a trail, but sometimes the trees will actually receive cuts as permanent markings.  Over the years they heal and look like this when on a hemlock (Tsuga sp). Sometimes there might be paint within the cut but in this case not or it has just worn away over the years…a reason for a cut rather than just paint.

Hemlock-Bark-051815-700WebI like both the color and rippled texture around the edges and made a couple of abstracts.


Hemlock-Blaze-Scar-2-051815-700WebWhen I saw cuts/chops in tree bark over the years I just figured it was a bit vandalous.   As it turns out, there can be a good reason for the practice.

Posted in Abstract, Closeup Photography, Environment., Intimate Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

05.19.2015 Ruffled Saddles

One of my favorite mushrooms to photograph is the Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus).  They are polypores aka shelf fungi and related to the ones probably most recognized by most as Turkey Tails.  Yesterday while hiking I found the most ruffle-edged cluster I have ever seen.

Dryad's-Saddle-051815-700WebUsually I see them with plump smoothly rounded edges and not generally incurved as with these.

Several years ago I found another clump along Route 47 in Hadley, MA.

Dryad's-Saddle-800FBI liked the surrounding Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea), aka Gill-o’er-the-Ground and a few others, and made a mental note to return the following Spring.  I don’t usually remember mental notes but did this time and that netted me this image which remains a favorite to this day.

Dryad's-Saddle-with-Gill-over-the-Ground-800WebThe fungus has done its job and the stump is now rotted and almost totally gone.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Fungi, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

5/18/2015 Painted Trilliums 2015

These are from two weekends…one a week ago and one yesterday.  If I am fortunate there may be more, but I won’t get out again with the camera until Saturday next.  But by then it may well be lady’s slipper time.

From last Saturday the 9th, this was a surprise find as I hiked along Dean Brook making this image. The petals do not always line up with the leaves but I got lucky for this one.

Painted-Trillium-Dean-Brook-050915-2-700WebThere is one spot hidden within a clump of mountain laurel where I most often find painted trilliums.  I visit there most every year and have often been fortunate to find a nice image or two as with this from yesterday.

Painted-Trillium-051715-700WebnThe majority of Trillium undulatum I find have medium green leaves, but I look for the darker leaves as the contrast between petal and leaf really gives a rich look to the image.

I am sure that to the average person if you have seen one then you have seen them all.  But there is always some little variety among the petals…more elongated or a bit rounded…and the curly edges vary as well from plant to plant.  More veining or less veining.  Leaves supporting the petals or not.

I am hoping for one more week to shoot these, but if it doesn’t work out I am pleased with what I have.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

05.17.2015 Here comes the sun

South Amherst again, but a different day, a different location and different conditions.

My neighborhood was not very foggy this morning, so I headed out with just visions of flowers dancing in my head.  But once I drove into Hadley and saw the fog there, this view came to mind and as I turned around back into town I visualized the scene on Southeast Street almost exactly as you see it here.  The only difference was I pictured the sun as a bit more defined but no complaints from me.

Southeast-Street-Landscape-051715-700WebI have been accepted for a gallery exhibit in the Amherst Town Hall for two months in 2016.  The exact months have yet to be determined.  I think it will be, for some odd reason, mostly images from around Amherst and quite possibly this will be amongst those I select.

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

05.15.2015 South Amherst

No alliteration or fancy title today.  Just a simple picture of some land in my hometown.  This is a view that I hadn’t seen before and was the other end of the trail that I walked after seeing the white variant of the red trillium last Monday. Those of you who saw this on Facebook know that I removed a bright white sign from the middle of the image as well as a woman and her dog that were walking across the  field near the central tree.  I don’t usually remove things but this light only appeared for a few seconds and when they were gone so was the light.  Artistic license.  Some folks like the human element in a landscape but in this case I did not wish them as part of the picture.

South-Amherst-Brookfield-Trail-051115-700WebOh yeah…while walking the trail I also came across this…Moose trackIt’s a moose track.  :-)

Posted in Landscape, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments