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Posts Tagged ‘Goldspeck Lichen’

Many years ago in a land far, far away a rock and roll band called Small Faces sang about a place called Itchycoo Park. The simple story speaks about someone who goes to a park and cries because what they see is too beautiful. I always found it interesting that the songwriter chose “too” beautiful for the lyrics. They could have said “so” beautiful but they didn’t-they said too beautiful. Can something be too beautiful? Here are a few things that I think come close to fitting that description.

1. Window in Ice

I took a picture of some ice on a stream and when I got home and looked at the picture I found an exceptionally clear window through the ice that let me see directly to the stream bed.

 2. Common Goldspeck Lichen on Slate

The bright yellow of this common gold speck lichen against the dark slate made me stop and marvel at the unexpected beauty that nature puts in our path. Sometimes you have to look closely to see it though; this lichen thread was less than half as long as the average fingernail.

 3. Cone Closeup

The geometric pattern on this pine cone was amazing. I think it is from a red pine (Pinus resinosa.)

 4. Inner Bark of Staghorn Sumac

A while ago I found a dead staghorn sumac tree (Rhus typhina) with peeling bark. The color of the inner bark was so attractive that I’ve been drawn back to it again and again. Now it has white patches on it. What they are and where they come from, I don’t know. I’ve been around this tree my entire life and have never noticed this.

 5. Stream Ice 4

 How this stream ice became so folded and wrinkled is unknown to me, but it looks as if it is made of melted plastic that has wrinkled and then cooled. The brown and green colors are the stream bed seen through the ice. Things like this make me think that anything is possible in nature-even that which seems impossible.

6. Winter Leaves

If someone had seen me circling around and around these leaves, taking picture after picture, they might have thought that I’d been in the woods just a little too long, but the deep orangey brown against the white snow stopped me in my tracks.

 7. White Pine Bark

There is a big old white pine tree (Pinus strobus) outside my office window and sometimes I find myself lost in contemplating its bark without knowing how long I’ve been doing so. Up close, it is even more amazing.

8. February Turkey Tails

Readers might be getting sick of seeing turkey tails (Trametes versicolor) on this blog, but they are very special because they offer one of the few spots of color found in the winter forest. I never get tired of seeing their different colors and growth habits. They have secrets that they don’t give up easily.

9. Streamside Ice

These ice beads at the edge of a stream looked like frozen bubbles. Created by drops of splashing water falling in the same places over and over.

10 River Rapids Cropped

You might recognize this photo from my last post, but here it has been cropped to better show the fascinating colors and movement of this river water.  I find the deep green, slightly off center “mound of water” rising up out of the deep blue trough to be especially beautiful. Quite by accident the camera caught it just before it crashed in on itself.

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller

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These photos are of what nature has shown me over the last week or so.

1. Hornet's Nest

Piece of a hornet’s nest blew down onto the snow, so I had to get a picture of it. It looks very abstract and I wonder if I would guess that it was a picture of part of a hornet’s nest if I didn’t already know.

2. Hornet's Nest

When I took pictures of it with the new Panasonic macro master camera, it was even more abstract, but also more interesting and beautiful.

3. Goldspeck LichenCommon gold speck lichen (Candelariella vitellina) grows on granite rock in full sun. This crustose lichen grows in small patches in this area so I always need a macro lens for it. The fruit bearing bodies of this lichen are tiny, flat discs-so small that I’m not even sure that I could get a picture of them.

4. Turtlehead Seed Pods

I took a picture of turtlehead blossoms (Chelone glabra) last fall and wrote that I didn’t really see any resemblance to a real turtle’s head. A friend said just the opposite-he thought the blossoms looked just like turtle heads. Now, on the other side of the solstice, the seed pods do remind me of turtle heads- a bunch of hungry, snapping turtle heads. According to the U.S. Forest Service this native plant is also called balmony, bitter herb, codhead, fish mouth, shellflower, snakehead, snake mouth, and turtle bloom.

5. Hawthorn

The hawthorn (Crataegus species) is a tree that doesn’t mess around and is not about to be used as browse for moose and deer. Its 1-1/2 inch long thorns are every bit as sharp as they look, and they keep the browsers away. The unlucky person who finds themselves tangled in a hawthorn thicket will most likely need some new clothes. And maybe some time to heal.

6. Lowbush Blueberry in Snow

I like the way the branching structure of shrubs and trees is so visible in the winter .This is a low bush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) no more than 8 inches tall.

7. Oak Leaf on Snow

Something about this oak leaf on top of the snow grabbed me, but I’m not sure what it was. Maybe that it seemed so alone.

8. Rose Hips

Rose hips are the fruit of a rose. In this case the plant is a multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora,) which is considered an invasive species. Its small red hips are one of the most colorful things in the winter landscape. Unfortunately, birds like them and spread them everywhere. I think I could have worked on the depth of field a little more in this picture, but you get the idea.

 9. Intermediate Woodfern

Intermediate woodfern (Dryopteris spinulosa var. intermedia) doesn’t let a little snow slow it down. This is one of our native evergreen ferns and is also called American shield fern, evergreen woodfern, or fancy fern. This clump I saw growing on a boulder was smaller than my hand.

10. Tall Grass I drive by this clump of tall grass quite often and have admired not only its 4 foot height, but also its resilience. It’s been through two snow storms and still stands proud as the tallest weed in the field. 

11. Oak Leaves Close Up

I took a couple of pictures of a cluster of oak leaves that interested me because of the way they hung-they seemed to all be clasping each other, trying to stay warm. When I got home and looked at the photo though, I didn’t like it. Then I cropped it just to see what would happen, and it became an entirely different picture that I do like.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing that stands in the way ~William Blake

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