February 29th pictures: Alright, spring, we get it.

In my post from earlier today I ended with a picture of the the little stream from our bowl-shaped yard spilling down into the ravine. So the path we normally take through the ravine down into the woods is slightly out of commission due to said stream, but you can certainly still get down to the woods by wandering alongside the path and venturing up into the hillside ever so slightly. That’s what I did today during my little picture expo. I paused here and there alongside the new little stream to get pictures of teeny, tiny waterfalls and the odd submerged leaf and all that kind of crap I like. Everything looked so appealing because it rained from late yesterday evening into the wee hours of the morning, so everything got a good soaking and really brightened up. The woods looked so different from yesterday, it was crazy.

About halfway down the ravine — about the spot where my my niece and nephew’s little fort is, where I was still taking pictures of things two inches away from my nose — I finally noticed the sound of running water. This was thrilling, THRILLING I say, because it meant that either the stream in the other, bigger ravine that carries water from the culvert up at the top of the road was running, or it meant that much of the river had thawed and water was flowing more freely again. Turns out both were true!

As a reminder, this is what the woods looked like just a day ago.


(1) Semi-devoured Jack in the pulpit fruit and (2) my niece and nephew's fort with the logs in the leaves in the foreground having been carried down there from somewhere thanks to the rain we got last night.


3. Oak leaves: the prettiest ever.


(4) Cottonwood on hillside and (5) maple samaras (possibly from box elder?)


5. A tiny little pool in our former path/temporary stream


(6) Bubbles in the temporary stream and (7) Dig the yellow leaves still persisting in one of the trees


8. I love finding leaves from last season that have still retained a little green.


(9) I believe this is the "big" stream from the other ravine and (10) I dunno, but isn't this fruit pretty? Sure it is.


11. These are the long, long, big of roots of a tree that fell across our path down the ravine, and which my niece, nephew, and co. used as part of their fort.


12. One of the streams winds around a cottonwood towards the gully. MY gully.


13. Streams converging; to the left of the picture is that great big ring of cottonwoods that I love so. In the foreground, the little waterfall is falling into the gully where I've taken many a picture this season.


14. Some crazy color inside this rotting tree limb


15. You cottonwoods are so damn majestic.


16. Little fungal growths on a cottonwood branch


(17) The eye of SAURON on a wood nettle leaf and (18) our rapidly unfreezing river seen from our campsite


19. A lone little branch sticking up from the submerged sandbar


20. Faithful goldenrod at the edge of the bank


(21) Amber-colored water droplet and (22) bubbling stream


(23) Closeup of goldenrod and (24) Rattlesnake master (I think), both at the riverbank. The rattlesnake master picture is one of my favorites from the day.


25. A massive tangle of raspberry canes and wood nettle (the light leaves hanging in strips), among other things.


26. Raspberry canes and other branches


27. Curling vines = forever irresistible


28. Ditto glowing leaves


29. Ditto fallen, arching dark limbs


30. Oh hey, more goldenrod.


31. I forget what this is but it looks bad-ass.


32. Raspberry!!!


33. Another favorite -- common figwort, if I remember right.


(34) A pin oak leaf standing at attention and (35) a fuzzy little sumac


36. Possibly fox grass with the opposite riverbank in the background


37. A tree that's been down for a while.


38. Deadly thistle foliage?


(39) looks like a tuber and (40) branch with many a bundle and bud scale scar


(41) No idea what this is but it almost looks kind of tropical to me; I only see it growing close to the river and (42) more possible thistle


43. Limbs that were, until very recently, embedded in ice


(44) Not sure what this is but I like the color and how the shoots look spilling out from a single node (maybe it's more nettle?) and (45) just some of my favorite trees in the background and the vegetation at the ever-eroding bank.


(46) and (47) lovely colorful leaves and stems hanging down from the ever-eroding bank


48. Some common mullein (all those sad-looking, thick leaves in the rosettes) and friends dejectedly sticking out of the riverbank


(48) holy crap that grass looks new and so bright and green and (49) dunno but hey, who cares, pretty


49. Part of what I enjoyed so much about the woods today is that -- while they're never exactly a neat and tidy affair -- everything was a little more delightfully chaotic than usual, with the meltwater carrying soil and plants and rocks all over the place to new temporary settlements and creating interesting juxtapositions


(50) These red stems remind me of those huge skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur. Tell me you see it too. And (51) just another shot of the river before it disappears north around the bend


52. A little black walnut afloat in a slightly discolored halo of froth


(53) Beautiful driftwood and (54) an unbelievably vivid root


55. Another mess of roots and trunks and limbs


(57) Another of those bright roots and (58) vaguely rainbowy common mullein leaf


59. Obligatory lichen, ultra-bright edition


60. This mess of broken bark and rootball apparently made a nice natural bowl for all of these black walnuts


61. Foamy streaks at the river's edge


62. Still more foamy streaks.


63. Batty leaves in downed tree


(64) Speckled root and (65) lichen on bark with figwort in backgruond


(65) The other riverbank and (66) I like the thin black edges on the ridges of this bark


67. Washed-up grass


(68) Gigantic mass of roots taller than me and (69) tree on the edge of our campsite wrapped in vines -- surprised it's still hanging on at the edge of the gully.


69. Just a lone pale leaf still hanging on to its tree.


(70) The stream thinning and (71) still more pale leaves


72. Broken-up ice plates


73. This moss is oooout of controlllll


74. A little wall of leaves in the bigger stream!


(75) Lichen on hackberry and (76) a little waterfall in the bigger stream!


77. The big stream thickens


78. Frozen clumps of leaves in the stream; they look like little beavers.


(79) Arching tree over the bigger stream and (80) the lovely metallic bark of awful dreaded buckthorn



43 thoughts on “February 29th pictures: Alright, spring, we get it.

  1. Your eye of SAURON made me lol 🙂
    Being a fan of lichens too, can you try to get closer shots of them? Like macro type? Would be nice as you seem to have a way to find loads of them.
    Thanks for the nice photos!

    • I had no idea you could do that! Although lately I’ve noticed many little fallen branches with these really pretty, round scars from where smaller side branches used to be attached, and I recently realized they were cottonwood too. I’ve seen sort of similar shapes in those scars but not quite as distinct or nice as the stars in that picture. Thanks for the tip, Melinda. I’m definitely going to try that soon!

        • Gotcha! Yeah, it’s been crazy droughts for a year-plus down there, hasn’t it? It’ll take a while for things to dry out up here so I’ll just gather a few twigs and dry them in the house.

    • Thank you!! I think lichen is a big winner in these parts — I take so many pictures of it (obviously) and yet I kind of inwardly roll my eyes at myself each time I do because it’s everywhere and I don’t always need to get a shot. And yet. It’s just that pretty.

  2. wow! I’ve never seen a longer post lol. I’m impressed how much detail you can get out of such a dull area. just goes to show, it’s not the location, it’s the photographer

    • Yeah, I went crazy with the pictures today, but I’m glad you enjoyed the detail. I know a lot of people would find the setting dull, but I find it endlessly interesting down there, actually — it all depends on what you’re interested in, though, and I like all the plants and the quiet. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I’m liking your new theme! Really highlights your already luscious nature photos. Keep it up girl. No need to reply…I try not to comment every time, but it’s hard for me not to praise beauty.

    • Thanks Shannon! I’m liking the new theme too; the other one was too narrow for my tastes. (I tell myself I probably don’t need to reply all the time either but I truly do appreciate each comment. And a small part of me will probably feel a little unbalanced if I don’t reply so uh, here I am. 🙂 )

  4. Glowing leaves, vivid roots and out of control moss! A great post – I can’t seem to appreciate your photos as quickly as you can take them and upload them!

    • Thank you, Steve! Admittedly I’ve been going on a picture spree lately — hard not to when spring seems tantalizingly close. I’m very happy you’re enjoying my pictures!

  5. Now thats commitment, after two cups of tea I finally made it to the bottom and I’m Impressed! Excellent shots and the macros are outstanding..:-))

    • Thank you very much, Ed! Getting the pictures themselves was a breezy and fun couple of hours one afternoon but dealing with them afterwards and putting them in this post was less so. Glad you made it through them and so happy you enjoyed them!

  6. Pingback: Culvert pictures | Marieshomesite

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