Monday, April 4, 2011

The emergence of spring in the foothills of Appalachia...

It was chilly Saturday morning and threatening rain, so before leaving for Adams Lake State Park, I stopped in the Shawnee Lodge gift shop and bought a wool hat for the morning part of the trip. It didn't seem like spring, but it was...

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) pushes through decaying leaf litter leaving winter's brown behind and defining spring green.

...this curled brown leaf seems to be clawing at the tiny Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica), fancifully representing winter's attempt to hold back the emergence of spring (winter seems to be losing...thank goodness).

The green and white stripes of a Puttyroot Orchid (Aplectrum hyemale) leaf appear rough and weathered. The leaf sprouted in fall, lived through the winter, and is now starting to die back. Soon a bloom will push through...spring is here!

Trillium, green and lush, lays its leaves flat over crispy, dead leaves, trying to hide any memory of winter. If you look carefully, you can see the bare trees of winter reflected in a pool of water in the upper left half of the top leaf. You can also see me leaning in to take the photo...I didn't plan that...just noticed winter is trying to show its face any way it can! :-)

Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) emerges with an electric glow from winter's clutch. (I'm not sure about the ID of this one...is it pink Rue Anemone?)

...a spent Hepatica petal reminds us that spring and the spring ephemerals pass quickly and summer isn't far behind....

This little wildflower hunt I went on has a name--it's called The Annual Adams County Ohio Lilliputian Mustard Expedition! Jim McCormac (of Ohio Birds and Biodiversity) created and led this expedition and has posted the details on his blog (click here). I'll write more about the trip in the coming days, but head to Jim's blog to read about the details now. Why Lilliputian? Because the mustard plants are tiny! I never knew such tiny gems existed. I'm so glad I went on the trip and was introduced to a whole new world. I'll have a few shots of the tiny mustards in the days ahead... Thanks, Jim!!

27 comments:

Roy said...

More superb macros Kelly. What lens are you using.?

Montanagirl said...

Great Macro shots, Kelly. Exquisite flowers and terrific photography!

Lois Evensen said...

Just marvelous images. It must have been a fabulous trip. I look forward to more images.

Matt Latham said...

very nice Kelly and it really is good to have spring back!

Out on the prairie said...

Some really nice photos to share Kelly.I haven't seen any blooms in the woodlands, but know they are close.

Chris said...

You know what, fortunately internet does exist!!! I'm terribly jealous. Everybody is getting spring but us ;-) But at least I can enjoy some flowers, colors and warmth thanks to you and your blog. BEautiful set of pictures Kelly!

Mike Whittemore said...

Kelly, thank you for coming by and reading! Your photos and paintings are very nice. I think we have the same eye for photography as I like to take pictures through a plant's perspective - really low to the ground. Great blog and I look forward to reading your future posts!!

Kelly said...

Roy...I'm using a macro lens Rick gave me. It's a Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8G VR (vibration reduction). It has a really flat plane of focus that I love because it renders the rest of the image soft and fuzzy. I didn't use a trip, and the flowers were often blowing in the breeze so it did really well. I like the lens a lot!

thanks, Mona!

Lois...it was. It really helped me learn about early spring wildflowers...I have a lot to learn! I can definitely feel some paintings brewing!

Matt...right now it's raining...April Showers! Yesterday was incredibly warm. Spring is definitely moving in. Thank goodness.

Steve...our woods are starting to pop with ephemerals. I took a walk yesterday at Ft. Ancient and in the evening at the Little Miami and they were everywhere. I love them! I even saw Dutchman's breeches!

Chris...you guys have it rough over there. I hope spring moves in quickly. We're going to be set back again with a few cold days, but they will be shorter and shorter! Thank you!

Kelly said...

...thanks, Mike!! Yes...that captures it. I spent most of my time lying on the ground or crouched down in some form of yoga squat (thank goodness for yoga!) so I could be on the same level as the bloom. It is a whole new world. I took so many photos...and can't wait to get back out for more. I have a backlog of Florida bird photos...and I still have paintings to do.... I need more time! :-)

Tammie Lee said...

ah, lovely to see spring through your lens and heart..... we must still remember to bring our hats and gloves... no wildflowers here, not yet.

Birding is Fun! said...

I just love to see new life and color bursting through the brown decay. Awesome!

A.L. Gibson said...

Kelly,

Came across your blog through Jim McCormacs. I was supposed to go on the field hike with all you guys this past saturday but couldn't afford the time. Looks like you guys had a great time! I love Adams and Scioto counties, always tons of goodies to see :)

grammie g said...

HI Kelly...Just darling those dainty images!!
So nice to see those signs of spring, but I'm with Chris....we had 10 inches of snow on Friday!!
We seem to go into summer from winter, with a Spring of spring in between!! hahaha!!

grammie g said...

HI Kelly...Just darling those dainty images!!
So nice to see those signs of spring, but I'm with Chris....we had 10 inches of snow on Friday!!
We seem to go into summer from winter, with a Spring of spring in between!! hahaha!!

Heather said...

Kelly, I'd say you're doing just fine with that lens. These are great photos, and I especially love the one of the spent Hepatica leaf. I'm seriously considering buying one of these lenses - it really gets in there! I'm glad you had a good time - I did, too! And it was really wonderful seeing you again after all this time.

Randy Lakes said...

Kelly, Great shots and great posts! It was a pleasure to meet you and spend the day with gang and you on Saturday! I hope to see you around soon!

JDS said...

I love the one of the hepatica petal. Most people would not have even seen it, but you not only saw it, you perceived its beauty and captured it to share with others. Thanks!

Laure Ferlita said...

What a wonderful post! These shots are great, Kelly, really love the trillium with the reflected trees!

HBFG said...

Really nice shots! I'd love to have a lens like that, maybe someday I will ;-)
Macro-photography is so nice!
Thank you for stopping by at my blog today :)
I replied to your comment... stop by again for my answer if you have time

Hugs
Michaela

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I LOVE your photos, Kelly!
And I agree with your feelings of the soft focus--especially for something as magical as discovering the first blooms of spring. It adds a layer of mystery.
Great to see you and walk with you.
Let's do it again before toooooo long!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Kelly, I can see you had fun there!

So glad Spring is emerging for you :)

Janice K said...

Your lovely pictures make me realize I need to go out in our woods and see what might be peeking through or under some of those leaves. I think Spring is a week or two late in blossoming up here this year, but it is supposed to get warmer as the week goes on.

dAwN said...

Awesome photos..I would love to be going on that trip. I am excited though to be going to New River Bird and Nature Fest and the Biggest year in American birding this year..Yippeee.

Kathy McDonald said...

Beautiful shots Kelly. It was great to be in the field with you Saturday. Hope to see again soon.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful pictures, Kelly... Since I grew up in the VA Appalachians, I recognize most of these. There is LOTS of Trillium in the Smokies.. SO pretty.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kathiesbirds said...

Love all the details! Love the last photo with the texture of the rotting leaves so evident! Thanks for pointing out the reflection in the trillium. Amazing! What a fun walk!

Kelly said...

...thank you! I'm so happy I went on this trip...I met so many new friends and nature lovers!! I can't wait until the next flower hunting expedition.