Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Causal Photographers

Observation Deck Trail

Today the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) scheduled this get-together for photographers. Advertised as a program intended to a help document the plants, animals and habitats around the MAC. Photographic-naturalist Dave Spier is the leader for the event.

This was the second meeting for this series.

Entering the MAC driveway passed two DEC workers mowing the grass.

At 9AM met Dave inside the MAC center. Evidently we were to be a corporal's guard for the day. After waiting several minutes for any others to join us Dave and I walked from the parking lot west on the lane and into the walnut grove.

Once in the wood Dave suggested shooting the trees which were backlit by the early morning sun.

Walnut Grove

Passing by the observation deck we took the Warbler Trail. There Dave noted a branch with new growth that might make for an interesting photo using depth of field.

Further down the trail we came upon a cluster of mayapple.


Podophyllum peltatum

Note double umbrella leaves

mayapple leaf

Further up the trail we spotted some Red trillium.

Dave demonstrated a technique that he referred to as gardening - removing several dead leaves and light-colored sticks and stones from around the flowers. This Dave pointed out would remove bright areas that might detract from the photo.

Red trillium

Trillium erectum

Dave stated that the common red trillium can give off an unpleasant odor and is sometimes called “Stinking Benjamin”.

Just beyond the wolf tree there on the left of the trail was a sea of Eastern Skunk Cabbage. Last month these plants were just emerging but now they had leafed out.

Eastern Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus

Dave suggested shooting the Skunk Cabbage from an angle that would show its spiral growth pattern.

Eastern Skunk Cabbage


Attempt to capture leaf pattern

Attempt to capture reflection

Returning to MAC center we stopped at the observation platform to watch a fisherman and his dog on the west rim of the Merganser Marsh.

Fisherman & his dog

After washing my hands to ward off any poison ivy that I may have encountered and thanking Dave for his instruction made my way to Knox-Marsellus Marsh before heading home. Here I was entertained by several Tree Swallows.

Tree Swallow

Pair of Tree Swallows

Tree Swallows on a Wire

Continuing homeward bound paused to view the Osprey on Rt. 89 near the Eire Canal lock.

Osprey - nest building

Two Osprey - across the Eire Canal in scrub trees

"Spring, nature wakes up
Flowers and trees are blooming
Animals are coming out!"
~ Jibin

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