February 22nd: a spring-y interlude before some more winter

Well, today was a rare still day, and with temperatures up around 40 the weather down in the woods was downright fabulous. I thought I’d take a gander at the temporary stream, which was frozen by the time I got down there but running freely, at least at its end, by the time I left. I wasn’t sure where it drained before — it dried up completely at a random spot in the woods, the last I saw — but today I was able to see that it Β drains into “my” (precious) gully. Which makes sense and also helps explain why the gully is the gully. (See pictures of the gully here and here.)

I’m probably going to be repeating myself a lot in the coming weeks, but wow, even just in the last couple of days the forest floor has changed. Before, you had to go looking for the new growth, but now you can see some with even the more careless glance about. Or maybe you can’t. I wouldn’t know, as I am excessively careful with my looking.

Anyway, since the stream wasn’t especially fascinating today, I spent most of my time at the riverbank and the sandbar.

1. This is the one I see everywhere, and this is the greenest of them all. I think it might be some kind of anemone.
2. Look, honest-to-god clumps!

3. I like the leaf and bundle scars on this branch. It's a little face wearing a Pope hat.


4. I like this rotted log and how red it is; I think it makes such a nice contrast with the pale leaf.


5. Thing number 454 that I can't not take a picture of: dead logs, especially with bark peeling away to show the sapwood. Or whatever that's called.




7. I'm pretty sure I've taken a picture of this log before.


8. The cutest little mushrooms I ever did see. You can tell how small they are with the moss for reference.


9. The bluest lichen I ever did see.

10. A pile of rotting walnuts; they almost look like they’ve been burnt. I blame the squirrels.

11. Hackberry


12. Hackberry


13. Moss meets bloomy white fungus stuff.


14. Look out, he'll eat you too.


15. Ready, set, grow?


16. That is purple, boy.



18. I’ve never seen a fungus like this (assuming it’s fungus too) — it almost looks like pollen. I accidentally brushed these little plants as I was trying to take the picture and a huge cloud of powder rose up.

19. It looks like a fish head, doesn't it.


20. Black walnut shells.


21. A piece of bone I found!






24. Gigantic cottonwood across the riverbank.




26. I love these little seed capsules.






29. Green briar doing what it does best.






32. This guy is growing on the sandbar in the middle of the river but unfortunately he will soon be covered in snow, soon to be followed by ice chunks as the river begins to thaw. But I am impressed by its efforts now.


33. Another little guy on the sandbar.




35. Washed-up trees at the riverbank. They're like tree dumbbells.




37. Very dead moss?


38. Looking north up the length of the sandbar.


39. Yeah...I had to step through some of this to get to the sandbar, but it was okay.




41. Leaf and seaweed (riverweed?) washed up against a rock.








45. I liked how the tree's reflection looked against the pinkish granite in the water.




47. I love the form of the big tree in the middle of the photo.






50. At one point I looked up from trying to take macros of tree roots and realized that the trees were a-glowin'. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to get some really good pictures of the sunset before my camera battery died.


51. But a couple of them still turned out neat, I thought.


52. So then my dad kindly lent his camera and I went back down to the river for more pictures. This is about ten or fifteen minutes after the previous picture.


53. And several minutes after that.

We’re looking at a couple inches of snow tomorrow, so perhaps I’ll take a snowy expedition tomorrow afternoon.

Oh — and here are some previous posts with a many a picture down by the river.


37 thoughts on “February 22nd: a spring-y interlude before some more winter

    • Thank you, Steve! The remains of the walnut shells do always look a little threatening somehow with their sharp lobes. And these pictures were taken in Minnesota.

    • I wasn’t sure what these were, and having looked them up it sounds like I’m missing out on a cultural phenomenon. Are you referring to #30 in this post? The lines in the wood and the color look a little like the silky, luxurious heads of hair that I saw in many of the illustrations of the underground, troglodyte lugs. And the out-of-focus woodchip in the top left looks like it could be a face in profile.

    • Thank you so much! I think if you’re willing to experiment enough and if you’re taking pictures of the right thing at the right time, you can get some pretty good shots even out of the cheaper cameras. This is my camera, for instance. And these pictures were taken in Minnesota.

      • Wow! I am amazed! Do you photo shop them too? You are really a great photographer. I have a similar camera and my husband has a “real” camera but I don’t know how to use it so I stick with my digital Canon Elph. Keep the pics coming! Ps. where do you live? What part of MN? I live in SW Minneapolis near lake harriett. It amazes me how many pics there are to take in this city and state!

        • I usually adjust my pictures (I don’t even have Photoshop, sad to say, because I would looooove to have a copy again) with Picasa, but I try to keep it to a minimum with an increase in contrast, usually. And I usually tip the light scale to the warmer side of things, but it depends. I’ve been pretty pleased with the results, but a “real” camera is definitely on my wish list. πŸ™‚ And I live in south central Minnesota. I love the Lake Harriett area! That’s probably my favorite of the chain of lakes, not as busy as the others. Hope you can get out there and start taking some more pictures soon!

          • Cool! You take really amazing pictures and you have talent! Keep the pics coming! Ps…I was in St. Paul too on Sat night. My husband and I got a sitter and went to eat at Kyber Pass on Grand Ave. Now St. Paul has some amazing photo opportunities given all the old homes! Minneapolis too but St. Paul is really cool in that regard plus I love all the ethnic eats!

            • Thanks! I’ve never been to Kyber Pass but Grand Ave is a lot of fun. I’ve lived in both Minneapolis and St. Paul and think they’re both great cities — I lean a little bit more towards Minneapolis but not by much. I think St. Paul definitely has the edge on the cool old houses, though.

  1. For some reason I really liked Photo 40. Sarah your series of images make me want to take a long quiet hike in the woods, or perhaps read a Robert Frost poem.

    • A squirrel recently chewed a hole through a grate over one of the vents under our roof, and then found its way into our attic, so I’m inclined to agree with you there.

      I’m very excited for spring too! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  2. I am enamoured with your water shots 40-46. They’re all fantastic…your eye is becoming ever more finely tuned to the true beauty that is nature. So glad we get to relish it through your camera lens!

    • Thank you for the very kind comment, Shannon! Glad you liked those shots — it was fun to find these pops of color and fun little subjects under or on the water.

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