The Flag of the Underbrush

Soft focus, blurred background, woodland colors…

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Nikon D5100 f/6.7 ISO 100 1/180s Nikkor 55-300mm lens 185mm – Summer 2012

I love these leaves displayed on their twig like the flag of the underbrush!

Recently we did some mowing and weedeating along the trail to the pond and on the bank of the pond. The idea was to facilitate access to the pond for fishing. While I have to admit that in some respects it is nice to have a clear trail, I also think we went overboard. The trail is too wide, too clear. Many of the areas where I took photos of insects, flowers, and seeds last year are now brown stubble. The underbrush has been cleared back, but now there is no buffer between the woods and the path. The underbrush needs someone to stand up for it, waving a flag, proudly declaring love of the weeds, bugs, and small critters who are the underbrush and its residents! I have nothing against neat, manicured lawns and pathways, but that is not where I want to live and take my photos. I leave those areas to others.

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If I Don’t Move, You Can’t See Me…

Wishful thinking? Can a grasshopper have wishes? I know a grasshopper can be very aware of me, the photographer!

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Frozen in Time - Grasshopper - 2010

When I moved to one side to get a better view of him, he would  edge around the twig to the other side where I could not see him as well. I finally had to use one hand to kind of wave at him so that he would edge away from my hand into the view of my camera. I caught him, though!

Icy Daggers

Well, miniature daggers – pointy, sharp, and gleaming.

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It is so amazing that these crystalline structures form overnight! They transform the world; as the sun rises it strikes sparks from each individual crystal so that the entire outdoors glitters and glows, magically transformed. Then that very sunlight that sparks the transformation melts it all back to common, everyday water.

Accidental Weathervane

This is the same feather from another angle – I liked the little glints of sunlight off the soft, plumulaceous barbs. Plumulaceous barbs: the part that looks like down and does not stick together.

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Swinging in the Wind - Small Weathervane

I was having trouble recalling that word, so I consulted The Feather Atlas, an online resource maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife service. Here is a link: http://www.lab.fws.gov/fa/glossary.php