Native

Red Pine on the level

Red Pine is a tree native to North America, yet it is called “Norway Pine” in Minnesota. Famously settled by Norsemen, the misnomer may originate with a sense of homesickness in these first settlers. The tall and straight trunks grace the trails of Treman Park, one trail is eponymous.

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I break away from household chores on a week day for exercise, arriving am impressed by the COVID-19 mitigation.

The new one-way trail rules, posted on the Rim Trail sign, means my planned route must change. Today’s COVID-19 strategy is to use the Red Pine trail, a very steep climb, a pine woods ramble, ending with descent to the Gorge Trail suitable for a mountain goat. The rules mean I cannot turn right on the Gorge Trail to form a loop. Instead commitment to the Gorge Trails means a 4 mile loop to the bottom of the park, returning on the Rim Trail. I decide to climb to the top and return.

I take an interesting detour on the way, visiting an archaeological site, fields of strongly scented wild roses, lush ferns.

All these photographs and video are from an IPhone 7, sent to my laptop via ICloud.

I cross a nameless stream to the trail head, follow this stream uphill to where it cuts into the slope where the trail turns sharply and climbs into the pines.

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Here is the experience from the ridge top. The sound of water is Enfield Creek rushing along the cliff face.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing X

Please give your opinions of this experiment, via comments. Thank You

Seconds after taking this shot, at f/4, I changed the f-stop to 29 and captured these blossoms with the environment in focus (yesterday’s posting). At f/4 focus is a challenge and I was not happy with the detail of the foreground blossom.

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I am in the experimentation phase of learning the new camera, so in spite of the 100% file size increase I turned on the Dual Pixel Raw feature. The two photos are from the same file. My impression is the adjustment improved the foreground flower details. Is it my imagination?

Click me for another Hepatica wildflower posting.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing IX

Land snail

Hepatica blossoms are the focal point here. Two land snail shells rested fortuitously below, a white and dark brown. The white shell (Scientific Name: Neohelix albolabris) is seen here. In life, the shell aperture reflective lip gives the species name, from Latin root words “albo” (white) and “labris” (lip), and the popular name, “Whitelip.” Look closely to see a series of ridges, an identifying feature apparent in this specimen. There was a live specimen in our yard, just yesterday. Busy with chores, no camera at hand.

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Click me for another Hepatica wildflower posting.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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 III

Red Pine on the level

One hundred and fifty feet in a series of steep climbs is the effort expended to reach the relatively level portion of South Rim Trail where the tall Red Pines briefly reign. Here the trees thrive on the northeast facing slope. They grow in this way in one other location, in the upper park, on an eponymous trail.

Encounters with groups of people descending always demanded I step off the trail to allow social distancing. Everyone work a flimsy face covering, although Governor Coumo’s order covers situations where social distancing is not possible. As of you, we do not have the loose masks; but only the N95 or a full respirator (both acquired very early on, our respirators were purchased for spreading lawn chemicals and spray painting).

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Red Pine (Pinus resinosa), also know as Norway Pine, shed pollen prolifically. Some Aprils my boots are covered with it, a dusting of yellow. Not today.

A species easy to spot among the green, an example of a shrub of the genus Gaultheria, though a very small specimen. The common name is wintergreen and I have never found larger specimens in Treman park. It is growing among the mosses on the wall of Enfield Glen South Rim.

The tough wintergreen leaves endue the cold seasons, the name is synonymous with evergreen.

Both shots are handheld, the macro is from a 100 mm “macro” fixed focus lens. ISO 2500, the f-stop to be wide open at 2.8 to gather the sparse light and present the subjects, blurring the immediate background. The overview shot is also a high ISO, 2000, the f-stop 5.8 on a variable focus lens set to 60 mm.

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