Today, I am grateful for trees. I love them for their beauty, their shade, and shelter they provide to wildlife. I am also rather partial to breathing the air that they add oxygen to. I am very lucky to live in the woods, where I have only to look out the window to see trees. I find it calming to walk in the woods, too.
Here are a few photos I’ve taken of trees. (Most of these are near me in Massachusetts, but one photo is from New York.)
As I was walking back to my car after my lab meeting in Boston last Friday, my eyes were drawn to the patterns, colors and textures of the bark of one of the trees growing along the sidewalk. In this case, it was the range of rounded blobby shapes, in muted greens and oranges, that attracted my attention, and made prompted me to take a photo. Of course, this is not an isolated incident. Tree bark has caught my attention far and wide, and over many a year. Here is a sampling of some bark to be found in my photo library.
More bark at BU, but clearly from a different tree. April, 2010.
Another tree in Boston, this time in March, 2012.
Boston, 2012, March. (Again. It was a good year for tree bark.)
Oakland, CA, January, 2011.
May, 2014, Malahide, Ireland.
Massachusetts, May, 2014.
I actually have no idea what kind of trees any of these are, come to think of it. I’m pretty sure not oak and not maple, but beyond that, I have no clue…
Okay, truth be told, this is probably not a newt. Dr. Google informs me that while all newts are salamanders, not all salamanders are newts. It is, though, definitely an amphibian, and I’d say quite a cute one.
We found this little character while on a trip to my mother-in-law’s a couple of years ago. To give a sense of scale, the maple seeds shown were probably about 2 to 2 and a half inches long.
Among the other various and sundry candidates for yesterday’s photo theme of “cute,” I considered some other baby animals. In particular, these teeny tiny toads came to mind.
The nearby zoo includes, in addition to the various animal enclosures holding non-native animals, large open areas that are home to native flora and fauna. There is a deer park that stretches over many acres of woods that includes a pond. From late May through maybe early July, visiting the deer enclosure also gives you the chance to see these little guys.
Sometimes the pond edges are positively teeming with tadpoles, lining it with dark blotches that can be many feet across.
They are a constantly moving mass.
I find it fun to look for tadpoles that are transitioning. Zooming in, you can see that many of these guys have legs as well as tails. Some just the back legs, some back and front.
And apparently once they are finished growing their legs and losing their tails, they feel compelled hop on out of the pond.
The path alongside the pond is sometimes hopping with them, carelessly crossing paths with oblivious humans with their big stompy feet. (Or others perhaps less oblivious, with their giant hands and their cameras.)
I found this draft of a post that I’d started in 2013. Not sure why didn’t get around to posting it. It looks like it was a friday foto finder post for the theme of “ducks“. Anyhow, I wanted to post something today, but I have a bad cold and a splitting headache, so not enough mental capacity to get any new ducks in a row.
The mama duck has all (or most of) her ducks in a clump.
Now she has her ducks in a row.
I love the little pouf of down on this little guy’s head. (And of course I love the rippled reflections on the water.)
This withering grape leaf caught my eye yesterday for its varied coloration and interesting holes. I found the pictures I took to be even more interesting, looking to my eyes like abstract mosaic images made from torn scraps of paper.
A few years ago, at our favorite local farm to go blueberry picking, I came across a hint of blue among the leaves of a blueberry bush that was a different hue of blue than the rest of the blueberrires. There were also bits of yellow and pink and fluffy gray that were most definitely like blueberry-like.
When I first starting poking through the bush, as one does when picking blueberries, my rustling of the leaves woke up one of the little guys. It’s not in focus, but I’m amused by the wide open yellow-orange mouth.
Realizing soon enough that I was not going to drop any tasty grubs into the open mouth, the little one went back to sleep.
I was very careful not to get too close the nest with my hands or my camera, but my zoom let me see up close. I was very impressed by the tidy little nest.
I’m not sure what sort of birds these are, I wonder if they might be Eastern Bluebirds. (I didn’t get to see the mama.)
A short while later, I came across another clump of not-blueberries in another bush. This time, the baby birds were clearly older, and possibly a different type of bird altogether.
These guys were looking a little crowded in their nest.
The rows of blueberry bushes were covered by netting to keep out the birds, but clearly not all the birds had taken that hint that they weren’t welcome. I was happy to see them, though!