Christmas … 2011 Part C

Christmas ended this year, as it always does, with macro shots of fungus. As usual, anyone wishing to bypass my diatribe may simply view the whole album here.

So as Christmas day winded down Laura did the only natural thing and betook ourselves unto the forest not-so-primeval. The first thing to catch my eye was this wonderful shelf fungus. This was sufficiently colorful to motivate me to whip out the tripod in the middle of the forest and kneel in the mud.

Colorful Fungus

Colorful Fungus

More Colorful Fungus

More Colorful Fungus

The last of the colorful fungus, really

The last of the colorful fungus, really

These little guys are about the size of dimes but if you’re kneeling in the mud on Christmas Day… well, they’re fairly amusing.

Fungus Frills

Fungus Frills

Next we got on to the Davis Ferry Bridge. This is about the 5th time I’ve been here but I’m always struck by the contrast between the hard, rusty steel of the bridge and the gentle organic shapes of the trees behind.

Steel and Wood

Steel and Wood

Birds are still in season it seems (for photographers only; put your BB guns away)

Birds in Season

Birds in Season

OK, yeah, I’ll admit that I asked Laura to sit down and be in this shot but it seemed poignant and artful. This was done at the Lafayette Amphitheatre. You’ll know it when you see it because it’s the one that looks like a penitentiary.

Audience of One

Audience of One

Self-portrait in shadow. I didn’t notice how well framed my shadow was until I got it home. Read that: Happy accident.

Happy Shadowy Accidents

Happy Shadowy Accidents

So as I’ve late I’ve been feeling rather lazy. As a result I’m determined to be more patient. We waited an hour for this sunset though I’m sad that the sun slid south so much and found its way into the trees before it hit the horizon.

Sunset on the Wabash

Sunset on the Wabash

While we were waiting that hour though, I did at least find a woodpecker or two.

Punk Pecker

Punk Pecker

I kept this only because I thought it a bit abstract.

Abstract Pecker

Abstract Pecker

So now we’re on to Boxing day. Having caught the sunset, it only made sense to pop up at the crack of dawn for the sunrise over the celery bog.

Boggy Dusk

Boggy Dusk

Finally, after waiting an hour (I’m early to everything) the first tiny specks of the sun made their way over the horizon.

First Peek at Rosy-Fingered Dawn

First Peek at Rosy-Fingered Dawn

And when they say the dawn comes up like thunder… they mean it even on an icy-cold day. It’s about 6 minutes between the first tickling pin-pricks of the sun to “Oh my God, I’m blind!”

OMG, I'm like Blind, Ya know!

OMG, I'm like Blind, Ya know!

And we close on the quiet contemplation of the dawning day, so full of potential.

Reflections on a New Day

Reflections on a New Day

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19 Comments

Filed under Lafayette, macro photography, nature Photography

19 responses to “Christmas … 2011 Part C

  1. Ahhh… Home, sweet home. I have a special request for springtime…. One thing I really miss are the morel mushrooms. My mother and I would go for hours and hours bringing home breadbags full of those ‘shrooms. If, by chance, you happen upon any in the woods, please snap a photo and post for me. Thanks!

    • Well THAT you can count on. It’s funny because as much as I’ve tramped about in the woods and as much as I make a point to look for fungus, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a morel. They seem brilliantly photogenic but also apparently fairly hard to find! So You can bet that I’ll be on the lookout for anything matching the description. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • They’re not easy to find. We would pick up a stick and use to move the leaves around to find them. Damp and dark, nutrient rich soil, usually around areas where there are a lot of rotting logs. Almost always on a shaded hillside, or an area with little direct sunlight. LOL… we came upon a mother-lode once… hundreds under a thicket of briars. I was young and small enough to crawl under them so I could gather. And I mean hundreds!

      • Wow! Treasure trove indeed. Alright, I will be more assiduous in my pursuit of the little guys in future! We will see what comes! Thanks for the tips!

  2. Rob, these are beautiful! I especially love “Fungus Frills”, “Steel and Wood”, and “Punk Pecker”.

    What kind of tree is the pileated woodpecker standing on? It doesn’t look like anything we have here where I live (Gulf Islands, British Columbia). The fungi look very familiar though!

    • Thanks, Laurie! It was a fairly photogenic weekend. 🙂

      The tree is a Sycamore. The whole state of Indiana is just teeming with them; probably why they’re the state tree! 🙂 As for the fungus, yeah, I think they’re pretty prolific. They’re absolutely everywhere around here. Too bad it’s not (to my knowledge) edible. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great photos! And, what luck catching a piliated woodpecker on a sycamore tree! The only time I catch them is when they’re on a dark tree where they blend in, except for the topknot.

    • Thanks! And as for the woodpecker, yeah, I chased that thing for 20 minutes before I could get even that shot. Sadly, its made shot across the sky and into their nest before I could get a picture. I waited several minutes for him to reappear without luck. They’re devious little critters. 🙂

  4. incaunipocrit

    Reblogged this on Basil Wheel.

  5. I like your fungi photos. I’m very interested in all kinds of fungi and in season, I collect edible varieties for the table beginning with morels in May, followed by oysters a few weeks later, and then as the summer progresses, boletes, chanterelles, hedgehogs, milk caps, puff balls and more. I typically photograph them impatiently with a little point and shoot camera to document what I find and when I find it. I confess I don’t take nearly enough time and care with the photographs though, because my focus is on the collecting.

    • Thanks, Mister Anchovy. Ironically, I meticulously photograph whatever I find but then don’t actually bother to collect it. I love a good mushroom in the kitchen but have never been quite brave enough to drag one in from the forest and eat it. As a result, I just leave them where they are. All the more chance, I suppose, for them to propagate themselves and make even more of their kind.

  6. Nandini

    Great photos, Rob. I loved the dawn moments. 🙂

  7. I have never seen a woodpecker in ‘real life’. Love the close up shot you got here. The colorful fungus was intriguing, too…I hadn’t seen that either 🙂

  8. Now I clearly have not got the hang of ‘following’ since I am not receiving notifications that you have posted, Rob. So I have missed quite a bit and forgive me whilst I play catch up. I love these fungus shots. I have tried a few but never had the result I want so congratulations. The pecker is great, abstract or not. A very nice set of images.

    • Thanks, Andrew! And if you’re having trouble following it may be because there are actually three different blogs. One for general writing, one for photos and one for old advertising. I do that so people can subscribe to what they really want and not be bothered by the rest. I’m guessing you’re subscribed to the writing one which has been a bit quieter. Feel free to ditch that and move over here if you’re looking for photos! 🙂

      As for the fungus, it’s fairly tricky given that they hang out in the dark. So general and sad advice is to drag a good tripod into the forest with you. Shutter speed low, aperture small and away you go. Glad you liked the abstract. Almost threw it away but glad it worked out. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. stunkard

    These photos are really beautiful! I envy the bird shots.

  10. Ok, catching up here… That is the most colorful fungus I’ve ever seen… Excellent bird photos — especially the woodpecker!

    So… your Christmases always end with macro shots of fungus?? Lol!

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