Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Changing Seasons

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #35

Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons

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Here in the northeastern USA, the comforting signs of spring are still hard to come by. And, believe me, I am looking for them. Those vibrant splashes of yellows and purples as hibernating bulbs push signs of life up through the cold ground. Surrounded by trees and bushes newly dressed with greenery.

However…as I discovered this past weekend…if you look closely…Mother Nature is making her presence known..little by little.

budding out

 

A welcome – and hopeful – sight.

Ice Map

Inspired by One Word Sunday: Ice

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The ground during a winter walk through the woods always surprises me. The layers of crunchy fall leaves at first covered with mud. Then snow. More mud. Ice.

More than a little depressing…and challenging to navigate. And why I don’t often walk in the woods during the winter months.

However, one day in January I noticed the sun was actually shining for more than 5 minutes. It wasn’t too terribly cold. Cabin fever was setting in. I dug my rubber boot shoes out of the closet. Grabbed my camera. And off I went.

As expected the path was sloppy. Although patches of ice greeted me, much of it had started to melt on the surface – thanks to the sun.

Fortunately I was looking down – mostly to prevent a slip and fall scenario…how embarrassing would that be – and discovered what looked like a topographical map of ice. In the middle of a clearing under the high tension lines. Still in place despite the late day sun.

Whoa.

Bending. Crouching down. Balancing.  So many fascinating views through the camera’s lens.

Here is one example…

ice patch

 

also…photo a day challenge: End with the letter E

Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Winterberries

Inspired by Sunshine’s Macro Monday #27

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Last week it was “warm” enough for a relatively comfortable walk through the woods in back of my condo building. A sunny mid-afternoon in winter is an opportune time to catch the light – despite freezing temperatures. I lasted almost an hour before my fingers were too cold to operate the camera.

I never know what I will discover.

Much to my surprise (mostly because I am no plant expert and don’t expect anything colorful to survive winter), I noticed clumps of red dangling among the eternal browns and dull greens around me.

I am guessing these welcome splashes of color are winterberries…

A few winter survivors…still hanging on…

winter berries

Art in the Sky

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Trees

…share some of your favorite trees with one another…

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I will be the first one to admit how much I enjoy the Fall season – with its endless array of oranges and reds emerging across the landscape. The multicolored trees are indeed spectacular and I always capture dozens of photographs as the season progresses.

However, my most sought after – and elusive – tree image is only possible in Winter. Against the night sky right around sunset.

After all the leaves have dropped…when a tree’s true shape and character is no longer hidden. Branches, exposed and unencumbered, stretch out…for all the world to see.

Displaying a pen and ink drawing across the sky. A freeze-frame dance of sorts.

As if to announce…here I am! Look at me!

An abandoned bird’s nest…often still nestles precariously against the trunk. Or a massive wasp hive hangs empty…ahhh…that explains the constant buzzing last summer.

The stories these trees could tell.

When the sky turns pinkish/orangish/gorgeous-ish, I attempt year after year to capture an image like I see in my mind’s eye.

I came close this past December on a city street in Washington DC. Taking a walk with my real camera, I had a sense the light would be magic (as cheesy as that sounds, it actually was magic). It was the day after Christmas after all.

A quiet evening at 5:00.

The Tree appeared a few blocks in the distance – but power lines crisscrossed in front of my view. After realizing the light was not going to last much longer, I hurried through the empty streets…getting closer.

A lefthand turn…one more block…it was time.

Standing as near as possible, I decided to include the few power lines still visible under the main branches of the tree. Before I lost the light…I looked up…tried a few exposure settings…and went for it.

Even though I was not able to photograph the entire horizontal expanse of this magnificent tree, I was thrilled to capture a sample of my favorite art in the sky.

bare tree

 

citysonnet January photo a day challenge: Looking Up