February 21st pictures: leaf litter

Lousy Smarch weather.

It looked like a glorious day when I woke up — sunny skies, looked really windy but was warm enough that there was a steady drip from the roof and the lawn was a mess of the recently melting snow. But the clouds rolled in this afternoon and the wind picked up, and the shadiest part of the lawn gelled over (except for a weird, bubbly stream that I could see under the surface — I’ll try to get some pictures of that later).

So for today’s picture-taking expo I took shelter behind the large shop in the corner of the yard. Almost all of the snow has melted there and left a mess of leaves behind. I have an inordinate fascination with leaves and quickly decided that is what I was going to take pictures of today. I tried to get as big a variety as I could, which wasn’t difficult — I basically had to crouch and pivot to get pictures of these leaves in a five-foot radius. I tried to highlight different things — the intricate netting of the veins; how prominent veins are especially on the underside of leaves; downy surfaces and other interesting textures; vivid colors and different patterns; tears, galls, flowers, lichen, and other things the leaves either set off nicely or which create some interest in the leaves themselves.

Without further ado, here is unmitigated leaf action:

1. Tiny maple leaf embedded in backyard ice.
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2. Lichen: next to impossible for me not to photograph.
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3.
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4.
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5.
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6.
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7.
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8. I’d love to know what these are! It looks like some kind of little fungus, but for all I know it’s a gall from some insect. Or the leaf has warts.
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9. Would you like some insight into my mind? No? Well, you’re going to get it anyway: the pin oak leaf leaned against the log looks to me like a tired soldier surveying the devastation in the aftermath of a battle with all of his fallen leaf comrades around him. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.
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10. I think this is white oak.
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11. Some kind of poplar?
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12. Goldenrod flowers.
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13. Pin oak leaves are the coolest.
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14.
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15.
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16. This, I believe, is one of many kinds of oak leaf galls, which are caused by many different types of wasps.
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17.
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18.
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19.
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20.
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21.
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22. I thought the margins of this leaf were fascinating; they look like a deteriorating fresco or something. Fancy, huh!
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23.
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24. I like the waviness of the veins coming out of the mid rib.
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25. Hey, a corn leaf!
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26.
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27.
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28.
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29.
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30. Pin oak leaf in beer-y ice broth.
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31.
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32. One conifer to round things out — balsam fir. This is actually a little bit of branch that fell off of our Christmas tree.
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33. I took this picture to contextualize all the bright macros I took so I could say, hey, check out the ugly mass of litter from which they sprang! But I actually I think the leaves still look quite neat from this scale, too.
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In other news, I got Freshly Pressed earlier today, which was very exciting. I figured that would happen at some point, not because I think I’m Just That Great, but because I post so often (roughly fourteen times a day) that it seemed likely purely from a statistical standpoint.  Photography blogs seem to be graced with Fresh Pressings  more often, too.

Anyway, I’m incredibly flattered. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, but since the New Year, that enjoyment has slowly been morphing into passion. I’ve probably taken more pictures in the last couple months than I have in the last two years. (I’ve had this camera for about two and a half months and took picture #7,198 a few minutes ago.) I’ve taken some really horrible pictures and a few pretty good ones in that time. I know I’ve already improved since I began my Project 365. But the biggest thing I’ve taken away from the beginning of this project, amidst reading up on apertures and f-stops and shutter speeds, amidst browsing others’ pictures and taking my own, is just how much there is to learn, and that there is a vast, echoing pantheon that is my space for improvement.

Anyway, it’s been so much fun to share these pictures with all of you and to be inspired by yours in return. It makes me want to try all the harder and to never be satisfied with where I am, at least not for too long. Thanks, everyone, who’s taken time to look at my pictures and give me feedback. It is always appreciated.

(But the best news of today? That belongs to COMMUNITY, WHICH IS FINALLY RETURNING TO NBC ON MARCH 15TH, OH YEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!!!!!! Don’t beware the Ides of March, EMBRACE IT.)

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21 thoughts on “February 21st pictures: leaf litter

  1. Pingback: A Character Flaw, For Sure | Disperser Tracks

    • That’s exactly my thought with a lot of these! Particularly those with some more intricate veining. Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked these shots.

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