Spring Outing VIII

Sun catchers

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Click me for another Hepatica wildflower posting.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing VII

Groupings, 1 flora and 1 dangerous

Hepatica positioned perfectly above the trail, sprouting from moss, a grouping of the plant and flowers.

Scientific Name: Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa. I found the two land snail shells this session, I identified it as Neohelix albolabris, and positioned it in this shot to lend interest. In a future posting you will see the shell where it was found.

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Six unrelated young adults, all female and without masks, not following social distancing guidelines, passed as a group just before I set up for this shot. I heard them coming and made plenty of space between them and me. COVID-19 testing in Tompkins continues to find several positive cases each week.

Finding an appropriate combination of settings for this grouping was a puzzle. My goal was to bring the flowers and surrounding into focus with intermittent breezes. The f-stop needed to be high to accommodate the depth with minimal exposure duration as the flowers moved in the slightest breeze. The solution was a high ISO (2500) and f-stop (32), yielding a 1/3 second exposure (Not fast). The compromise was patiently waiting for a break in the breezes.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing VI

Just opened wind-flowers

Just opened flowers on long hairy stems, tiny anemones. A crawl and tripod we needed to capture these. The scene scale is revealed by the dried leaves from last autumn.

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I call these anemones from the disputations among taxonomists. All agree there is some relationship and differ in the degree. Classifications add a designation “tribe” before genus (hepatica). Alternatively, the genus is designated Anemone instead of Hepatica . A common name for anemones is “wind-flower” for how the flower is sensitive to a slight breeze, on these long stems.

This is the first hepatica capture of the session. There was no breeze at this time and the ISO is 800, f-stop 29 (lending some definition of the background, less than I’d expect) and a relatively slow exposure of 1/4 second. The 100 mm macro lens on a tripod mounted camera.

Reference: Wikipedia article, “Hepatica.”

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing V

Wildflower Groupings

Red Trillium are early bloomers, along with Hepatica. I often photograph them together. Click me for a 2019 Red Trillium post of photographs from 2007 taken in Fillmore Glen Park.

Here we have two photographs from the end of the April 20, 2020 session. I finished a series of macro Hepatica and, tired (emotionally, not physically) and not wanting to step up the slope, captured the following grouping of a single Red Trillium, lit by a bolt of sunlight, White Hepatica, fern and the budding White Trillim from yesterday’s post. Not the same trillium, a continuation of all the individuals in bud.

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These were 15 feet or so up the slope above the South Rim Trail. I used the 100 mm macro lens, with the spring breezes ISO set to 2500, f/5.6 for a 1/200 exposure.

Not far away, also upslope, was this flower grouping against a moss covered log. Park forestry leaves fallen trees in place to return to the soil. Camera settings are the same.

Both photographs were handheld.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing IV

Turn to Light

Wildflowers flourished where the slope turned to the north and late afternoon light spread across the small ravine created by a small stream. This early in the season White Trillium buds were forming between three green bracts.

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The above photograph taken handheld with a variable zoom lens captures the plant and environment. On the forest floor is twig of hemlock, probably knocked off by squirrels feeding on the tiny cones. Oak leaves from last season frame the dark green bracts. We also see a few wintergreen leaves and the rich soil.

With the low light ISO is 2000, the f-stop of 5.6 allowed crisp details of the hemlock and wintergreen, the focus is soft on the oak leaves. Where is topography allowed sunlight, the White Trillium were a bit further along. Here is a bud opening.

Here I used a travel tripod and a macro lens with f-stop opened up to 3.2, not lens maximum, and all but the forward bract tip are in focus. A lower camera angle places surroundings in distance, allowing all to be blurred unrecognizable: the plant is the star of this shot. ISO 800 with the ample light. I was struggling with the spring breezes, having to wait for a break to take each exposure.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing II

Lower Waterfall

This series of posts opens with the ascent to where the wildflowers grow.

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After just a taste of the climb to come, hikers are treated to an view of the Lower Falls of Enfield Creek. I call them the Wedding Cake. Summertime, a dam is erected, the water is deep enough to dive into the very cold creek water, lower than 70 degrees.

The trail is on a beetling crag.

Looking up Enfield Glen above the falls. Up to the trail, keeping distance was no problem. It is nowhere near as crowded as the trail to Taughannock Falls in February.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing I

Socially Distanced

Parks are open during Govenor Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE.” Still, as a member of the at risk group I was reluctant to visit, unsure of how crowded it will be. On a Monday afternoon, bright with sun, I drove over to Robert H. Treman lower park to check out the situation.

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I carried the Sony in hand and packed in a Canon with macro lens and a Manfrotto travel tripod.

The path to a trail that climbs up the south side of Enfield Glen crosses Enfield Creek via a bridge, wends through cabins……

…..then heads up stairs that can seem to be forever. The green sign with white letters is new. This the South Rim Trail avoids the cliffs that make the Gorge trail so dangerous November through May.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Bullet Dodge Finale

EPCOT Forever(?)

Our last “FastPass” was for the EPCOT Forever fireworks and special effects spectacular. COVID-19 rendered the “forever” to be futile pretension, though during our wait Pam struck up a conversation with a couple who returned year after years to EPCOT, people who miss it and look forward to reopening.

We found the “FastPass” venue lacking, as there were many structures in the line of sight, as you can see from the IPhone 7 videos in this post. In retrospect, the area in front of the Canada Pavilion was open and might be a better location — when Epcot reopens, you’d need to get their early to grab a space.

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“Dodge the bullet” is rather too active for our EPCOT experience as we did nothing to social distance, cover our faces and, even, attended a sit down restaurant. “Dumb luck” is a better characterization, but it makes a poor chapter heading.

As our time in Florida passed more information leaked from China, posted by their citizens on-line. I recalled the chaotic scenes from the hospital, frightened people screaming in packing halls. Seeking to protect ourselves during the flight home, we sought out N95 masks and all medical masks were sold out. We found packs of N95 masks marketed for auto body work, in Walmart. Wore them on the 2 hour flight home as the only “wierdos” wearing masks as several fellow passengers coughed uncontrollably.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Bullet Dodge Series 8

Japan Pavilion

Epcot is a different experience at night, in many ways an enhancement, a gathering of glamour, smoothing of edges.

These few photographs and one video of the Japan Pavilion exemplify this effect. We were blessed with a full moon.

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Tokyo Dining is a traditional sushi restaurant featuring served by native Japanese. Our service was efficient and attentive from a premium seat acquired through our on-line reservation through a smart phone Disney app. Traffic is immense. I can only think of the research from China that demonstrated transmission of COVID-19 to nine diners by one infected person. We learned in April 2020 a high percentage of infections are non-symptomatic.

After dinner Pam and I enjoyed views from the spacious terrace. All photos for this post are from that time. Many of our family gifts from the trip were from the large and well stocked Mitsukoshi Department Store. It is the only remaining branch of the company in North America.

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Sea Turtle

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Bullet Dodge Series 7

Oh Canada!!

Several times in the “aughts” (2000 – 2009) Pam and I visited Ottawa, the capital of Canada, for work. We’d leave on a weekend to enjoy some personal time before the appointments.

It is sad, I could find no photographs of Ottawa to share with this post. We loved the European feel of the city.

Our exposure to the Canada pavilion was a walk by at sunset on the way to our Japan dinner reservation.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills