Saturday, April 29, 2017

when in doubt, fetchez la caméra la plus proche

Happy's where we're at here in West West, Vermont...all of these courtesy of the phone, because the Mighty Lumix (the little guy good for macros, particularly in awkward shots like underneath a flower two inches from the ground) is in Kevin's car in an airport parking lot. And the Nikon with its awesomeness is...oh, it's on my desk, but I'm lazy, so without further ado...

Maple leaves unfurling...

ahhh, the beaver pond, gradually getting bigger and bigger...

New discovery! Those fuscia party hats the gray birch wears? Turns out they're packed with leaves as well...

Must retrieve Mighty Lumix from the boy's car..

Today Today Today was the day the magnolia in the back yard went *boom*.

Saxifrage! This one deserves the Nikon. Stay tuned.

How many back-lit pictures of trillium can I take? 

A lot.

And now for the side view...

Not bad for the phone...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

upskirting the shrooms, lost in reflections, the tenacity of birch

We've been back in Vermont for what, eight months and change now? And not til today did my friend G. and I get out into the woods together. 

Shelf mushrooms on a downed log, looking first the one way...

...and then t'other.

I'd left the Mighty Lumix in Kevin's car...or at least I hope that's where it is, since I can't find it... so I had only the phone with me and lo, it gets stubborn and refuses to focus on what I think is important.


...or, as the phone observes, G's derriere as she forges ahead on the trail.

Likewise, it was hopeless to get a shot of the underside of these spring ephemerals...

...though I had fun trying. Heaven help me, I didn't even get enough info to key this out later. It might be a hepatica. Dunno. 

More shrooms on a log...


...and the undersides...

These are some woods, apparently formerly farmed as evidenced by stone walls hither and yon, that G's neighbors own. They are kind enough to maintain a network of trails, which we sometimes kept to and sometimes didn't.

G. found us a vernal pool. We got lost in the reflections for a while.

Last but not least, a downed yellow birch, gigantic root ball exposed, but it sent up shoots all along its length that appear to be flourishing.

Tis raining. My sweet boy is in London on a bidness trip and the hour of FaceTime approacheth. Hurry home, angel... hurry home. Spring awakens all around us.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


It's my day off, and the sky is an expanse of deep blue. Mmm mmm good. There's been this strange cold virus out and about - it nips your heels for a week or two, and then when you're not looking, it sucker punches you. Then, a few days later, when you're all "I'm on the mend, yay!" it kneecaps you. So the running has been a bit erratic lately. But today, I finally got a solid run in. I NEED to get a couple of half marathons on the schedule for this summer. Or...this fall, at the rate I'm going. 

I wasn't going to photograph the daffodils today - "it's just daffodils" - if you ever find yourself saying shit like that? "just daffodils"? You need your head examined. 

On the way to greeting the daffodils, I realized the playtex tampon applicator flowers were in full bloom. 

They're actually a heath.

I was heading out toward the mailbox to check out the pussy willow situation.

Huh. Somewhat worse for wear. Not sure what happened. 

Another kind of willow is just starting to pop.

This one's half in half out of its cloak.

The basswood down by the stream says "who are you lookin' at?"

AND BIG NEWS, because I knew to look for it and ONLY because I knew to look for it, TRILLIUM!!!!! I counted eight.

O Happy Day. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017


words. who needs 'em?

Gray birch catkins spreading out and getting down to business.

More pussy willow explosions.

A half mile+ away, a whole lot of bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). 

Friday, April 14, 2017

pussy willows exploding, gray birch party hats, and big news

You can't always be fluff.

You gotta speak out at times.

Like, say for instance, this pussy willow. 

Ta-da! Goodbye, fluff...hello, delight. 

oh god, this makes me so happy.

I wonder if the southern sides tend to ripen up more, as would be suggested here:

Meanwhile, along the side of the road, near the edge of a former-and-soon-to-be-future beaver pond, we have speckled alder beginning to rock out. 

See the one in the middle, at the top, starting to expand?

BAM, I'll tell you wut.

I really, really, wanted the Nikon and its zoom lens today, but I hadn't used it in a while and the battery needed to be recharged. I can't wait to get all up in this alder's grill with it. Right now it all just looks like a confusing mess.

Not a great great shot, but I'm starting to remember there are little individual niblets in there. I'm guessing anthers, again?

Back to the gray birch's party hats:

Once you've noticed these, you can't un-see them. If you know you have some sorta birch with catkins happening in your world, go take a look and see if any of its buds are exploding like this. 

Sometimes you get lucky and see two right up next to each other. I'm not sure how they avoid reproducing with themselves. 

In other news, THE BEAVERS ARE BACK. Ever since That Bitch Irene blew out the dam on our pond, we've pond. The beavers never really left left, they just went a little upstream for a few years and then a little downstream for a few years. A few days ago our neighbor noticed some activity and lo, he told me about it today. 

Hallelujah. The pond's coming back.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

a warm day + brain melt

First time I've used the Mighty Lumix in a long time; I had to fiddle with it to remember its settings.

Yellow birch, hop hornbeam; toes intertwined.

An 80+ degree day after weeks of 40s or below; I have the added discombobulation of having a cold, and hence, no energy.

gray birch female flower, aka the party hat. these little fuscia ganglies mystified me for years before I stumbled across an understanding of what they are.

The male flowers - the catkins - are a little easier to spot. 

this makes me jones for the macro lens of the nikon. I'll have to haul it out.

onwards to the pussy willow...

...complete with bud scale. 

Then I realized the SD reader in my laptop isn't working, so I wound up using our backup laptop - an old one we stream tv on, it's running the loathed Windows 10 - loading pictures up into google drive, and then getting them onto my laptop from there. lo, what a hassle.

I feel like shit.

Rumor has it the spring peepers will be singing soon. Yes, please.