May 28, 2019
Many of you know that I don’t photograph flowers—except when I do. Two photographs of flowers play bookends here to the rest of my haul from walking in Schoepfle Garden a week ago Saturday. In between are lichens on a low retaining wall and some favorite trees along the Vermilion River. Elsewhere in the park, I wasn’t surprised to see this stump; the tree had been visibly ailing. But I was surprised that someone had painted the edges of the stump with orange paint. Drawing closer, however, I saw that it wasn’t orange paint but a bright-orange fungus. None of my photographs of the fungus up close came out. I wonder if the brightness could have thrown off my camera’s focussing ability. Had I done more chimping, I might have noticed that the fungus was not in focus. Maybe I would even have thought to try manual focus. At least the section of the stump that is spalted turned out. The next photograph is in monotone because it was too confusing in color. Moving in, thus cutting down on the number of elements in the frame, the subject could handle color. I found some Leptothrix discophora along the river, but we’ve had so much rain that it was quite young (previous films having been washed down toward Lake Erie) and probably is all gone by now. Even though this film is very young, you know you’re looking at L. discophora when the water reflects the surrounding foliage so brilliantly. The opening flower photograph is of dogwood, but I don’t know the name of the closing flower. Maybe one or more of you do. The last image is a crop of the previous one. Click on it to see it larger.
December 23, 2018
On December 8, shortly after arriving in Sarasota for the winter, I took my first trip to South Lido Park this season. This is perhaps my favorite park in the county, largely because it contains a variety of ecosystems. The bonus is that it’s only about 15 minutes from home. On my first visit of the season there I always search with apprehension to see if a little stump I’ve named R2D2 is still standing. Every year, I think it has disappeared, only to realize it’s only further down the path. And so it went this year. R2D2 (in the first four photos) seems more colorful than it has been in the past, but that may be my imagination. The fifth photo is probably the first of others you’ll see over the next couple of months showing a dead sabal palm leaf, which I find more graceful in senescence than on the tree. The sixth photograph is another perennial favorite: backlit leaves of the seagrape bush. The last photograph shows my photographing friend Lynda and me.
February 22, 2018
January 30, 2018
For over a decade this little stump in South Lido Park has fascinated me. In this portrait it seems to be holding out little arms beseeching a hug. Other views of it are here and here and here and here and here and here.
December 5, 2017
My Lightroom problems aren’t over yet, mostly because the rest of life got in the way of addressing them yesterday. So here is another golden oldie. This one, from 2013, is proof that we don’t all enjoy trees the same way.
March 11, 2017
When she wandered away from the lagoon at the Venice Myakka River Park, Lynda came across a dead and upended tree that may have been a cypress. The remnant of the root end was weather-sculpted in a way that reminded me of the gills of some mushrooms.
January 14, 2017
January 13, 2017
Many years ago I came across a stump in South Lido Park that appealed to me. Somehow it reminded me of the R2D2 of Star Wars, so that’s what I named it. Over the years (maybe 12?) it has increased in character while looking more and more fragile.
October 25, 2016
An expert on mushrooms I’m not, but I do have an interest. I have never seen these little guys. Maybe when they grow up they will look familiar. Here on the pine stump the biggest one is about half an inch in diameter. . . . The more I look at this photograph, the more I wonder if they are puffballs. I’ve never seen pinkish-orange puffballs, and I’ve never seen puffballs growing on a tree stump.
October 7, 2016