Falling of the Trees

This is my second post focused on trees during the four distinct seasons in the northern United States. The trees in summer and winter are pretty static – the deciduous trees are green leaved in summer and bare branched in winter. It is in spring and fall that the trees are in transition and change week by week, morphing into what they need to be in winter and summer.

Over the years we have vacationed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in late August and early September. By this time we are very tired of the steamy heat of summer, looking forward to the crisp cool air of fall and the vibrant colors of fall foliage. It is in northern Michigan that we see the first hints of fall color on a single branch of a tree. I look for these as we are traveling down wilderness roads.

The next step in this transition is the yellowing of leaves in the woodlands. This wooded site in Vermont was very familiar to my eyes looking towards fall.

Early September in Vermont

As the yellow leaves mature and start to drop, we begin to see hints of pale red and orange in the landscape.

Hidden Lake Gardens in southern Michigan.

Soon the oranges become dominate adding big splashes of color bordering the fields of corn that is turning golden and brown as it dries for harvesting.

Reflections in the mill pond close to our home.

Then the oranges and reds of the Maples intensify and the oaks start turning a dark red. My favorite scenes are combinations of evergreens and deciduous trees because the evergreens provide a resting spot for my eyes that are overwhelmed by the riot of color.

Of course there are trees that are doing things besides producing a wonderful color show. We have many apple orchards in our area of Michigan and a special fall treat is visiting an apple orchard for freshly picked apples that snap when bitten into.

And soon the leaves begin to fall…

Until they are all on the ground waiting ready to be collected so they don’t smother grass and perennial flowers beneath them.

The trees are left bare, with their wonderful skeletal structure exposed, indicating winter coming very soon after. But that will have to wait until the next post as part of Becky’s tree-square challenge for the month of July.

Contrast of Trees – Squared

Do you take photographs that you really like but then don’t know what to do with them? This is one of them for me. I took it last March at the Naples Botanical Garden because I loved how the stark white barren tree contrasted with the green structure of the palm behind it. Unfortunately I didn’t check the name of the white tree.

Well, Becky has started a month of squares with the theme of trees. Perfect because I can use this one for my first entry. Maybe you have a photo or two (or more) of trees or a favorite tree that you can photograph for us. Just crop it to a square and link it to one of Becky’s square trees.

Magic Shadows of Winter

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Have you ever experienced the magic of the winter shadows in a deciduous woods? I have always been fascinated by the play of light and shadow as I ride a dirt road, feeling the warming sun filter through the blinks of darkened shadow. This is natures way of warming the earth in the dead of cold, then bringing forth bright green leaves as an introductory play with light, as we wait for the thick green canopy that cools us when the summer temperature rises.

My response to Cheri’s Weekly Photo Challenge of Shadow. It was fun thinking about the difference in light between Michigan and Florida, between summer and winter, and thus how shadows show themselves.

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Look Up

Looking up into old Live Oak in Florida

Looking up into old Live Oak in Florida

Naples Botanical Garden

Naples Botanical Garden

This is my first time participating in this challenge and it looks like fun. This is a different photo of this tree that first appeared in a post on Old Naples, Florida. In this challenge it sounds like photos are voted on for selection of winners. To find out more you can click on this link.

Lake Grosbeak Encounters

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Wood

I have taken a while for this post because I was hoping for a bolt of creative, amazing, inspiration. I went through some of my files and found lots of wood but none of these photos seemed to be interesting on their own – well there were a couple but I’ve already used those in other posts. Awesome inspiration just didn’t happened.

I love the Norfolk Island Pine but so far the pictures I have taken haven’t created images that capture what I love about it. They have been really disappointing. So this morning I decided to accept Cee’s challenge of capturing and sharing the true character of this piece of wood. And I think I have done it – at least I’m happy with my images.

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One of the things I love about it is how it towers up above the other trees and is so dark against the deep blue sky. They stand out in the skyline around our condo. Every time I go to the pool or step out of my car I see them towering up in the sky. It is quite slender and can grow up to 200 feet which in quite impressive.

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The trees are elegant because of the up-sweeping branches that grow out from the trunk in a circular pattern with space between the circles of branches. The Norfolk Pine doesn’t actually have needs so isn’t really a pine. What make up the long “needle-like” foliage are tiny, densely overlapping, scale-like leaves.

pine 008 The Norfolk Island Pine is native to Norfolk Island, Australia. But the tree outside my door is also home to several other plants. This is an air plant (Tillandsia species) called an epiphytes, a plant that grows on trees but isn’t a parasite. You will see a lot of these epiphytes growing in the Live Oak featured in this post.

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To see more posts on the theme of wood or to join in the fun, you can click on this link.