Night Blooming Cereus IX

Mass Bloom

It is possible to puzzled over my choice of an ungainly potted plant acquired over three years ago from the Eddydale farm stand. We popped in for tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelons after a hike along nearby Treman Park, I spotted the plant on display in the front. The cashier suggested we visit the greenhouse to view the parent, currently in bloom. Memory of the those blossoms were short lived as we lived with this collection of malformed green lobes sprouting long stalks.

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The plant occupied a pool-side water barrel summers, a bedroom corner winters. This year, 2021, flower buds formed late July, each on a lengthening stalk, and have continued into October. “Dutchman’s pipe cactus” is a popular name, from the appearance of the flower on the end of a stalk turned up with a terminal curve.

On a September morning we were expecting guests I walked out to find four blooms fulling open. Grabbing an available camera (Sony Alpha 700 with a DT 18 – 200 mm F3.5 – 6.3 lens) I captured these images of the event.

Enjoy!!

Click me for another flower post, “Another Woody Peony.”

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Galway Bay View from Dún Aonghasa

a season of wildflowers across a karsk landscape

Another aspect of the gradual 1/2 mile inclined path to the central ring of the prehistoric Dun Aonghasa ruins of County Galway, Ireland.

The view north, northwest from this way to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus).  In early June, looking across wildflowers, karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. 

Note the doorway (with long lintel) in the surrounding wall, to left of center in middle distance.

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Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands
Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Bench Sitting Nature Watch

a monarch in steady progress south

On a sunny autumn morning we set out, my soon to be three grandson Sam and I, to the Lime Hollow Nature Center near Cortland for an adventure.  For the first time I brought a newly purchased iPhone 7 instead of the usual slr camera.  The phone can be carried in a pocket and is simpler to us, to allow me to give full attention to Sam.

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At the start is a large, today sunlit, field with an “art trail.”  There are various anthropomorphic transformations on the trees and a very large sculpture of a blue face.  Here is a tree from another place near here, to give you an idea.

PumpkinFarmTreeFace2012

I do not point out the tree faces to Sam.  His Mom likes to say he enjoys being frightened and, when the blue face came into view, he turned back and said, “home.”  Sam was mildly anxious, so I carried him and tried to turn him up the trail away from the face.  He turned to keep an eye on it while I assured him it could not move.  This and a climb up a 230 foot hill were the only times he didn’t walk the half mile to a open grassy knoll with a bench.

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There we sat for 30 minutes, still and watching, Sam and I talked about our sightings:
1. The sunlit sky of clouds, from a milky blue towards the north to, overhead, a bright robins egg blue.
2. A circling hawk, shadow crossing over us.
3. One blue jay in a maple turning red, loudly calling over and over.
4. A little while after a second jay, landing in a tree turned yellow, drawn in and giving answer.
5. A monarch butterfly’s steady progress south. Such a strong gliding path.
6. A yellow butterfly who did not leave us, fluttering round and round.
7. Four honking Canadian geese flying north east, turned to check out a nearby pond, the returned to the original heading.
8. The sound of wind through the trees, listening to the sound made by each tree.
9. The late season golden rod, now dried gray.
10. A distant chittering red squirrel.
11. Distant peeper frogs in the swamps at the foot of the hill.

Sam did not want to leave the bench, eventually we headed on to the pond the geese checked out.

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I used the “panoramic” feature of the iPhone 7 for this shot. On the hill we were sheltered by trees and bushes from the steady northeast wind. Here, on a bench by the pond, that direction was open to the wind. The sun kept us warm. It was clear why the geese did not land, the water surface was deserted, filled only by rippling wind driven waves.

On our walk back we sat on a bench on the edge of the art trail field, the blue face out of sight. A woman, the only other person encountered, emerged from one of the trails cut from the brush, camera in hand. She was collecting images for a Cortland Historical Society publication and asked to take our photograph. “OK,”, I said and gave the story of living here for 25 years in the house on Fall Creek where my son’s family lives now. She replied, “My daughter is in San Francisco. We don’t know who will have our house when we are gone.”

Click me for “Celestial Geese with two haiku by Issa”.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Fulacht Fiadh III

Two Huts and a Hearth

Drombeg has two huts adjoining the Fulacht Fiadh with a connecting path.

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Hut B incorporates a rock lined hearth that possibly served as an oven.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Fulacht Fiadh II

Survey of elements

Yesterday’s post was an overview of this archeological site associated with the Drombeg Stone Ring of County Cork, Republic of Ireland. Today, we explore the elements of these fascinating remnants from the late Bronze Age, over 3,000 years ago. (

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It is amazing the rock wall survived human need for the valuable wall stones. Portions were stolen, though for the most part we can see enough to understand.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Fulacht Fiadh I

BBQ Stew Pot?

Notice the groupings of visitors in the middle distance of Pam’s photograph, gathered around remains of late Bronze age elements.

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There is a sign to explain…

In modern Ireland the word fulacht means barbeque and the archeological sites with characteristics in common, such as a water source, health and pit, are named “Fulacht fiadh,” derived from Old Irish sources. In all cases the link is to some kind of preparation activity involving heat and moisture. Found throughout Ireland, Great Britan and the Isle of Man where the sites are called burnt mounds. The Drombeg Fulacht fiadh exemplifies all characterists. There is a horseshoe shaped rock walled/banked, now a remnant, enclosure, entrance to the south. In the middle is a pit, at Drombeg lined with rock, a spring on one side, a hearth on the other. A stone saddle quern, used for grinding grain, was nearby Adjacent huts, rock walls with post holes, do not suggest a settlement, but rather a temporary use.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Drombeg Stone Circle IX

Seventeen Stones

Pam posing with wind blown hair on the rock outcrop I used to achieve site overviews. In medium distance, other visitors gather around another site feature.

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Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Drombeg Stone Circle VIII

Seventeen Stones

The photograph shared the last Drombeg posting needed hours of reworking before it was ready for submission to Stock Photography services. Ireland photography is my “money maker”, so the effort is work this.

Today, I share the image as it existed in camera, to the final product. The most detailed work was removing the human figures in the upper right corner. The camera sensor was problematic, with an light accumulation of dust. Below are the two images, each alone and as slideshow for flipping back and forth.

What differences can you observe? (comments, please)

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llllll

vvv

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Climb to Gorge Trail

Potential danger abounds

Capturing photographs and videos on the fly using an Iphone, we visited Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, New York with our granddaughter, Nia. This is the third post of this series. Click me for the first post in this series.

Emerging from the blind canyon of Cowsheds Waterfall, we are faced with this gorgeous pool fed by Dry Creek (yes, that is the name). Formed by a dam, the water is deep and very cold.

We were standing on this footbridge for the above photograph. The trail to Cowsheds is on the far side of Dry Creek and to the right.

We have yet to count these steps, don’t know why. The limestone blocks were quarried locally from the same stone of the creek bed. The gorge trail begins at the top.

Trillium Seed Capsule

This is a Purple Trillium, I believe, formal name Trillium erectum. It is a large specimen judging form the width of the bracts, leaf like structures at the based of the flower stalk. When fertilized, the ovaries form this seed capsule containing up to 16 seeds, each with lipid with a high content of oleic acid. During summer, the capsule opens, seeds disperse. Ants encounter the seed elaiosome, the oleic acid content triggers “corpse carrying behavior.” The ants carry the seeds into their nests, consume the lipids leaving the seeds. After a year dormancy the seeds sprout and the additional depth in the ant nest provides a good start.

Trillium are a favorite food of deer, unfortunately. Some seeds are spread this way, passing through the digestive tract and out in fecal waste. I use the color of the seed capsule to identify it was Purple Trillium. In my experience the white variety (Trillium grandiflorum, and others) has a light colored seed capsule.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Drombeg Stone Circle VI

Seventeen Stones

Here is one of my finest photographs from that morning. The ocean view is a reason Drombeg is one of the most popular neolithic sites.

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The camera is set on a tripod positioned in front of the recumbent.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved