Blue RockSorry it has been so long since my last post. Summer is a busy time around here with friends and relatives visiting and vacations and all. I still take time to head out to the woods, but usually with a couple of other people along. It’s nice to have someone to talk and laugh and share the sights – kind of cuts down on the photography though. I don’t figure my guests want to sit on a rock for half an hour watching me fiddle with my camera and move my tripod all over the place trying to get a good shot of some old tree stump.

Anyhoo, a couple of days ago I went out by myself on what looked to be a typical summer day here in upstate NY. It was cool and misty in the early morning, but with a clear sky the afternoon turned bright and hot and muggy.

After a morning splashing around in some gullies, I wandered uphill through a stretch of trees with a lot of undergrowth – hot buggy scratchy work – toward a pond I know. Once I reached the pond I turned south into an old apple orchard and then up some more to a wide open pavillion. The floor was soft and springy with wall to wall carpeting made from years and  years of fallen leaves. I could see a long way between the tall straight pillars of sugar maple holding up the fluttering green roof. Here I could have a seat on a fallen bole and rest a bit while the sound of a summer breeze flowed high above my head.

I got up and wandered aimlessly for a while trying to identify the things around me. There were sugar maples mostly, but mixed in there was white pine, american hornbeam, shagbark hickory, red oak. Down at my feet there were may apples, jack in a pulpit, trillium, and just emerging from the brown floor were indian pipes.

FritI came out of the woods onto an access road. All the strip of land between the edge of the track and the trees was awash in summer flowers. Mostly I saw queen anne’s lace forming a white undulating blanket about three feet high. Filling in any spaces were fleabane with small white pins radiating out from a yellow eye. To spice things up there was some sprays of lavender chickory and rare but eye catching were the thistles with bright purple crew cuts on their heads.

As I walked along these unkempt flower beds, I noticed that everywhere there was activity. A constant buzzing and flitting sound filled the air. Mostly there were bees – striped orange honey bees and yellow and black bumble bees. They were very intent on their nectar gathering so with their heads buried in the blossoms, they didn’t pay me any heed at all no matter how close I came.

skippersA bit more wary were the butterflys. They flew from one flower to another without stopping long on any one and they would flit elusively away whenever I came near. Monarchs added their orange and black to the riot of colors. There too came the black swallowtail adding black, yellow, and a hint of blue. Orange and black frittelaries and bright yellow sulfers and dusky brown wood nymphs did their part. Just for good measure blue and green dragonflys hovered around looking for a little something other than nectar.

I came back to the flower fields three or four times during the day. It was such a bright sunny alive active kind of place in contrast to the slow shady thoughtfulness under the trees.



7 Responses to “Summertime”

  1. Bernie Kasper Says:

    I know what you are talking about when you take someone with you, a friend wanted to tag along on a photo trip with me yesterday, it took us about 4 hours to walk a half a mile. I don’t think he will be coming back.

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time in the flower fields, I would love to be able to come across that, your images are great the two bottom butterflies are especially well done. Talk to you later.

  2. Photo Buffet Says:

    The flower fields sound like my kind of outing. Anyplace with butterflies will take hours. Too much to take in! Your friend should bring a camera next time.

  3. fencer Says:

    Wonderful shots again… I really like the abstract still life quality of the top one.

    That would be a challenge: to catch a good photo of a dragonfly hovering like they do.


  4. forestrat Says:

    Thanks for the nice comments everyone. My poor macro skills did not allow me to do justice to the beautiful flowers and bugs. I really need to work on that.

  5. [jm.n] Says:

    Yes, I can never take a decent shot when I’m with someone else; always need to photograph alone, just me and my subject.

    I’d like to see an enlargement of the second pix, taking in the butterfly, the purple thistle head and the lovely green spiky head on the left of the ‘fly. In this way, you will see a ‘macro’ version.

    But, I’d really like to say how much I like the first pix, Blue Rock. It has that lovely abstract quality to it that Nature can show us sometimes, if we’re seeing on that day, and you did!

  6. forestrat Says:

    Thanks, jm.n.

    fencer mentioned a couple of posts back that I should say that I’m an “abstract nature” photographer when people ask what I do. I hadn’t really thought I was doing anything abstract, but looking back over my stuff I guess a lot of them are kinda off the wall.

  7. [jm.n] Says:

    I haven’t explored your blog too far back yet, so will do that now you have mentioned your ‘abstractness’. I, personally, would not say this type of pix is ‘off the wall’; it’s quite natural, after all it’s Nature—natural, get it? Cheers! ;)

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