Sunday, November 18, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: Random Photos and Abstracts

A handful of recent photos, including some abstract images.
Abstract: Lampshade

Abstract: Living Room Lights, Panned.

Leaf tucked into large metal flower

Gazing into the bottle

Bou surveys the yard from top of the deck stairs

Backlit trees in the neighborhood

Dusk with moon over Blacksburg

Cardinal in the rhodo hedge outside my study window

Coaster and water bottle.

Yew (?) berries

Dusk at Radford

Dusk at Radford, taken in front of McConnell Library looking toward Tyler Hall

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: Backpacking at Lost Cove Creek

Last weekend was delightfully warm and pleasant for late October in Appalachia. Most of the leaves are gone off the trees and a winter front was heading our way, packing a potentially potent wallop thanks to Hurricane Sandy. It was a seasonal cusp of sorts, and a perfect time to head out into the Pisgah National Forest with a backpack on. My friend Edwin and I headed out to Lost Cove Creek and camped near an old favorite site, Hunt Fish Falls, that's been documented on this blog before (the photo in the header is Hunt Fish Falls proper). Here's some photos from our trip: 

Hiking in through a characteristic rhododendron tunnel, so common in this neck of the woods.

Looking upstream from the big rock overlooking the falls.  That's Tina Louise on the leash.

Tina keeps an eye on the creek near our campsite.

Waning fall leaves clinging on the big rock overhanging the creek.
We hiked in on Friday afternoon and made camp. Saturday we hiked upstream, crossing the creek six times in the process.  We then took the trail up to Timber Ridge, then hiked along the ridge and back to our campsite near Hunt Fish Falls, a total hike of about 8 miles or so. 
A pool upstream from the campsite.

A narrow section of Lost Cove Creek.
This tree was rooted on a small rock outcrop over the pool.

Another view of the tree on the outcrop.

On the trail upstream.

Heading up the switchbacks to Timber Ridge.

Red and brown and green and gray.
On Timber Ridge heading back to the campsite.
This scary label was affixed to this tree near  our campsite. It's the only one we saw like this. Did I mention this was the weekend just before Halloween?
Cocktail hour back at camp after our hike.
cameras: Olympus E-PM1 and 14-45mm lens, Panasonic ZS15

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: Strolling in the Suburban Woods

I've always had a fond feeling for suburban woods, having spent many happy hours as a child in suburban sylvan settings. The outdoors were always more fun than indoors (unless it was staying inside to read or build model airplanes).
The path into the woods in my neighborhood
My first real awareness of suburban nature was in the 1st and 2nd grade, where my outside escape was the desert near my house in Tucson, Arizona. Outdoors was filled with great natural surprises: roadrunners zipped around everywhere (without their cartoonish "beep! beep!"), tumbleweeds rolled through leaving a wake of small stickers (Dad called "goatheads, and they would pierce a rubber flip-flop), and lizards and horned toads were everywhere. There was a grove of mesquite trees that ran behind our house where we would hang out, and I was just sure that mosquitoes were born in tiny little nests in mesquite trees. As I recall, I asked my 1st grade teacher if this was true, and she told me all that stuff about water and mosquito larvae. I preferred the image of tiny little mosquito nests in mesquite trees, but that's just how reality goes I suppose.

Saturday was a beautiful fall day in Blacksburg, so Asta and I headed over a few blocks to take the woodland trail that runs along a ridge and above the quarry. On the way we walked past a scooter and evidence of children playing in a yard:
A scooter poised for action in Blacksburg!

I love the little dirty jeans, the yellow bus, and the classic "woody" Radio Flyer.  Fun was had here, to be sure.
So after a few blocks we entered the woods on the trail above. Filled with maples and other hardwoods, the woods were bright yellow and red. The trail runs along a flat ridge for some time, with the Virginia Tech quarry where they get "Hokie stone" to the left of the trail.

The trail, with the quarry down to the left. 
A great tree beside the trail.
The quarry from the trail, overlooking Ellett Valley. The quarry produces 30-50 tons of Hokie stone each week.
Once we got past the quarry there are a few places where you can see through the trees to the mountains beyond, such as this photo below:
Ellett Valley, looking to right from the trail.

Several clusters of rock formations are beside the trail.  Oh, to have this to explore as a little kid!

A rare bit of flowery color on the trail.

The edge of Blacksburg.
Asta, actively exploring the trail.
The road uphill after our adventures. 
Birds were everywhere yesterday.  This house finch and tufted titmouse were hanging out near the bird feeder in our backyard.

Yum!  Black sunflower seeds!
Cameras: all photos taken with a Panasonic ZS15, except the last two taken with a Panasonic G3

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project - October 19

Fall colors were accentuated the other morning when it was somewhat cloudy soon after sunrise and the light was filtered through the clouds. The first few photos were taken around 7:30 AM near our house.
Our house in the early October light.
Looking up the street.

Maple tree in the neighbor's yard.
Buddha in the hostas.
The next few were taken from the car at various stoplights and roadside areas on the way to and from work.
Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech

Sunrise in Christiansburg
Another view of sunrise at the stoplight, with a trash truck entering the scene
I'm glad I didn't stop to drink the water at this spring.
A few images from a sunny afternoon walk in the neighborhood last weekend:

Horses on the hill

Tree on the hill. Look closely and you can see several pairs of tennis shoes dangling from the branches.
Geeky stuff: the top 4 and last 2 photos were taken with an Olympus E-PM1, the rest with a Panasonic ZS15.