Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of inchoate writing on photography, coffee, and geekery.

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Spring

The Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography. This week’s theme is spring.

This past week we had some very low temperatures and strong winds. The kind of weather that makes me wish I live somewhere warm; tropical. The snow from the last week’s snow storm was still piled high and showed no signs of melting. In some places, the plows had created great ”mountains” of black ice over seven feet in height. I imagine that some kids might look at those and think, “Can I use my sled on that?”.

Spring in New Jersey doesn’t really start until mid-April. It’s too early for this post. I had fully expected that I would be posting these photos from past springs just so I would have something …

I was concerned that I would not find the typical signs of spring for this area. Where would I find spring plants such as skunk cabbage, Rue anemone, Jack in the Pulpit, and the aptly named Spring Beauty? The oak has barely started to produce buds. However, the cedar and Juniper are in full form. Achoo!!

 

In early March, after the sun sets, male woodcocks perform an in-flight song and dance routine for their audience of female birds on the ground. I would tell you how wonderful it was to experience this first hand but the Sourland Conservancy’s woodcock bird walk was canceled due to the storm. To make matters worse, the snow storm grounded the birds and many were starving unable to get food through the ice and snow.

Spring, Spring NIKON D5100 20150425 5968 1

Round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa)??The ornate and mottled leaves are visible year-round. The furry-stemmed flowers arise in earliest spring; fur on the stems and new leaves protects against April cold fronts. Pollinated by solitary bees, seeds dispersed by forest ants.

In late February we had some unusually warm weather and my spring garden bloomed. The crocus pushed themselves out and I worried that my spring garden would be bare.

Spring, Spring Crocus NIKON D5100 20170324 9641 Edit 1

  • Aperture—ƒ/2.8
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—24 March, 2017
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—100
  • Shutter speed—1/160s

But I got some surprises on Friday. Thursday and Friday were much warmer days with daytime temperatures between 6ºC and 15ºC. Enough of the snow melted to expose these flowers. They had been sitting under the snow, preserved, for two weeks.

Featured image info:

  • Aperture—ƒ/8
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—24 March, 2017
  • Focal length—85mm
  • ISO—4500
  • Shutter speed—1/125s