Tuesday, 14 February 2012

On the Path -- February 14th, 2012

A few of my friends have commented that I'm not doing much blogging these days. I've definitely slowed down from the time I was posting like there's no tomorrow, for a couple reasons.

The main one is that I don't find as much to shoot this time of year, unless there are beautiful snowfalls or I go some place in particular, like the ROM last week. To get any decent snowfall shots this year you had to be out with the camera within an hour or two of the snowfall or the snow was disappearing already, but in most cases there just wasn't enough snow to bother trying for good winter shots. A drive further afield may have yielded some good results but I felt it was too much of a gamble for me to bother.

So today I decided to take a camera along on my walk, not expecting to see much, but I thought I'd see what I could come up with.

Squirrels are active all year long. They're much easier to spot when there are no leaves.

Even in winter, Birch trees stand out from the crowd.

A pair of Mourning Doves doing what they do best... nothing. They just love to sit and watch the world go by. It's Valentine's Day today so maybe they're reminiscing about their younger days.
(A weak lens, cropped severely, lousy result, but it's Valentine's Day so I wanted to include them.)

The buds on the Silver maples are getting larger. They're the first trees to flower in Spring so they're only weeks away from showing their color.

Dog-Strangling Vine is very obvious this time of year. Long stands of it stand out against other growth and lots of it is still clinging to shrubs & trees. The seeds in this pod will no doubt survive 'til spring and add to the profusion.

The woods at the top of the path are inviting any time of year. There are lots of Hemlock trees, so they keep the snow off much of the leaf fall.

Whereas the mature Beech, Oak & Maples in the woods lose their leaves so the forest floor has more snow, albeit not much this year.

Young Birch trees are an exception. They hold some of their leaves all winter. They're just not big enough to stop the snow.

No matter what color the leaves are when they fall in Autumn, they all end up pretty much the same shade of copper. There are Oak, Maple & Birch here.

The following was an appropriate find in the woods for Valentine's Day! I hadn't noticed this before. It looks like some young lovers (an assumption on my part) left their mark for posterity. 

It looks like it would harm the tree but it doesn't really. As I learned a while back, the only part of a tree that is alive is an extremely thin layer (cambium) beneath the bark, so unless the damage girdles the tree completely, it'll heal around the wound and do just fine. That's why we find "hollowed out" trees that are still alive and going strong.

When the leaves are gone, we get to see just how many squirrel nests are in the neighborhood... there's lots. This pair seemed to think a plastic bag would improve the decor of their home.

I don't get to see much fungus this time of year. This looks quite healthy.

I end with another popular subject of mine... Poison Ivy. Even at this time of year it makes its presence known.

 Not an exciting day on the path, but like the pros keep telling us, there's always something to shoot.

- fini -



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