Leaf and stream ice

At last, a cold morning:

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The oak leaf is under the ice, and covered in small bubbles that are hard to see. The winding dark path is the detail that made me stop and set up my camera. It wasn’t that cold – just 15 degrees or so.

A walk in the woods

The New England landscape has scattered remains of glaciers long ago, boulders and rocky outcrops that the glaciers exposed and left behind. In winter, mosses add bright green color to rocky surfaces and logs. And here and there, there are remnants of flowers. A few closeups from a recent walk in the woods:

These are all winter images, but they could have been from late fall, there was little snow visible. Today, it was 72 degrees – hard to believe it’s January.

Spirit Falls cascade

Another cascade at Spirit Falls:

Spirit Falls is at Jacobs Hill in Royalston, Mass. Jacobs Hill is a ridge with a steep drop-off of several hundred feet. Spirit Falls drains a wetland at the top of the ridge. Water comes down through a boulder-strewn hillside in many cascades, the largest is around 20 feet. Even though the temperatures have been pretty mild, the falls were almost completely encased in ice, with only a few spots where rushing water was visible, such as this one.

Twelve from 2019

A selection of images from 2019:

I’ve been posting a year-end image list for decade. As in past years, the selection reflects the kind of images and subjects that interest me most.  Spirit Falls II is the only image that I haven’t posted previously. I posted Spirit Falls in January, and took Spirit Falls II this weekend.

Thanks to everyone who stops in to look at an image and especially to those that leave comments. Happy New Year!

Winter: dark and light

Here are two contrasting views of the forest floor in winter: the first is frozen leaves on a wetland forest floor, the second is snowy, with tree-clubmoss, a beech leaf, and pine needles.

These came from two places, one a swampy woods of maple and birch, and another a mature forest of American Beech, pine, and oak. I don’t know what process robbed the leaves of their brown color and gave them that bluish hue. I’ve always loved tree-clubmoss (a Dendrolycopodium species, not sure which one) and the way it emerges from a light snowfall. Beech saplings tend not to lose their leaves, so the snow always has a few newly fallen ones.

Ornaments

Frozen drops on a mullein leaf, they reminded me of tree ornaments:

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An image from a while back that I didn’t post. Happy holidays!

Ice design

A combination of frozen bubbles and ice crystals on the surface of a stream:

After a few weeks of mild weather, it got cold enough for ice to form on stream surfaces. It took a few nights of night temperatures around 12 deg F to produce this. The open dark space had water flowing under it.

Willowherb curls

An abstract view of open willowherb pods that have lost all their seeds:

I went back to the meadow where I found the willowherb pod in an earlier post. I found masses of the curling open pods that I hadn’t noticed before. It grows in marshy areas where there are a few cattails. I hope the seeds germinate so I’ll find the flowers next year…

Milkweed filaments

A closeup of the hair-like filaments of a milkweed seed:

I like the design delicate, gossamer threads make. Not a lot of detail, but it has an airy look I like.

Asters

The seed heads of white asters are pretty when they first appear, tiny and fuzzy. I hadn’t noticed until a recent rain that they can close when wet, like some flowers do at the end of the day. As the seeds disperse, they change again:

These probably aren’t the same species, though the single and wet asters may be. Click an image to view a larger size.