March 26, 2018

Sunny, 30 Degrees, East Wind 5 – 10 mph.

I am beginning to sound like a broken record when describing these spring mornings. It’s another perfectly clear, sunny morning with not a cloud in the deep blue sky. The temperature is cool, but 30 degrees feels pretty darned mild by now.

The light was nice and soft when I set out.

I took Jamie to Island Lake again this morning. We went to a different location where a trail passes through scrubby small trees around a lake. The lake is a water filled gravel pit, which probably accounts for the scrubby young trees. Farther from the lake, the woods turn to a mature oak forest and we did some walking there too.

Poplars stand out against the darker oak forest beyond.

I’ve concluded that it is no mystery that I have been photographing branches and bark these last few weeks. There’s no snow and very little variation in the weather to entertain myself with. Just clear skies and a lot of bare trees.

One of the big old oak trees in the woods.

I find these subjects pretty interesting, but they could certainly be seen as a bit bleak. I am eager for the arrival of some leaves. The buds on the trees indicate they’re coming, but it will be a while yet before they appear, softening the landscape and shading the woods into another world entirely.

This shot has a lot more color than appears here on the internet. I like it.

I found a few scenic shots toward the sun and a lot of tree branches, of course. I also photographed some pine cones on the pine trees that dot the entrance to the woods. They’re beautiful to me too. I guess I just appreciate nature’s architecture—there’s that word again. On one tree you could see last year’s pine cones all opened up, having released their seeds, with this year’s cones right next to them, newly grown and closed up tight.

Last year’s cones and this year’s behind.

A Canada goose followed us along the lake shore for a while, honking his displeasure. I’m guessing his mate is on her nest somewhere and he was scolding us for getting too close. I certainly wouldn’t want Jamie disturbing a nest, but we saw no sign of it. He followed us for quite a while, making sure we were well out of his territory.

These grasses are an invasive species that escaped from their original landscaping use. They are replacing the native cat tails all over southern Michigan.

Still no sign of anything I would call “Art,” and this honestly disturbs me. I like documenting nature and wandering around outside, but my ultimate goal is to make some truly beautiful photographs, worthy of a good art gallery.

These little fungi looked really cool against the dark trunk and sunlit ground.

I’m not sure that the arrival of the leaves will create opportunities to make more artful pictures. Maybe, maybe not. I guess that’s up to me, isn’t it?

More brilliantly lit poplars in the morning sun.

Jamie enjoyed the new territory. I left him off leash the entire walk, as there were no cars in the parking lot when I arrived. He roamed all over, exploring on his own a lot, though always checking in with me every once in a while.

This tree had a most unusual branch form that caught my eye.

When we returned to the car, he sat upright in the passenger seat and leaned up against the backrest facing me. He looked so sweet and peaceful—very different from the trip out, where he sits bolt upright and scans the horizon, looking for our destination. When we finally pull into the park, he gets very excited and whines a little. He knows he’s about to get out for his walk.

Notice the little chickadee in the center of the picture. I couldn’t get my camera to focus on it. Should have switched to manual, but I didn’t think of it in time.

That sweet, peaceful look in the car is his thanks to me for taking him out. He looks at me in this dreamy sort of way. It’s cute and very sweet for such an otherwise very active and masculine dog.

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