These Croci are a good sign that spring has sprung in Montgomery Township. I think I’ll go for a hike in the Sourland Mountain Preserve this weekend. I’m sure I can find some early spring wildflowers.
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 snowstorm 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 cancelled 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.
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.
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.
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Up until recently, I have captured the images for the 100 Day Project using my AF-S Nikkor 35 f/1.8 lens. I rented a macro lens hoping to capture some juvenile amphibians in the vernal pools during my hike in the Sourlands. I wanted to learn how to use the lens. This morning and this afternoon I bent over a patch of crocus growing in the yard and capture some images. I found out that I might have to show at small apertures and ISO 400 and maybe use a flash. The DOF of a macro lens is very narrow, so a small aperture helps. However, smaller apertures mean less light enter the sensor. Shooting at higher ISO and using a flash helps.
This was my one of my favorites from the set. You can find the rest on Flickr.