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.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project - October 11

Some morning and evening photos in my neighborhood:

One of my neighbors has this bunny on duty in his front yard.

Hokie colors are everywhere in Blacksburg.

Tall trees across the street catching the morning sunlight.
Waning daylight in the New River Valley

'Shrooms at sunset.

Pine needles at sunset.
Electric tree

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project - October 8

Basking in the late morning sun
Olympus E-PM1, 14-45mm lens, 1/320" second, f/11, ISO 800

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project - Why Asta Smells Like Mums

Asta smells like mums lately, to the extent that it can be overpowering. She's been vigorously digging around in our waning wildflower/flower bed, tunneling under the now overgrown batch of vegetation. Here she is in mid-romp:
Asta taking a rest after extensive frolicking

The official term for this is "snorgling"

Coming up for air

Bottle tree

Asta, quite satisfied with life

Morning glory on the vine

Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: October 5

Moon and trees through the moonroof, about 8 AM.
Olympus E-PM1, 14-42mm lens, 1/400 second, f/9.0, ISO 800

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: October 4

Just after sunset in Blacksburg
Panasonic G3, 20mm lens, 1/250 second, f /1.7, 800 ISO

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: October 3

Still life with autumn gourds, plus a lingering Roma tomato
Panasonic G3, 14-45mm lens, 1/8" second, f/5.6, ISO 400

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: October 2

We have several "snake plants" that belonged to our friend Jane.  Here's a leaf from one against a blue basket backdrop:

Snake plant!
Olympus E-PM1, 12-50mm lens, 1/5 second exposure, f/5.4, ISO 800

Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumnal Photo Project: October 1

It's been a while since I undertook a photo-a-day project. A few basic, self-imposed rules for the project:
  • I'll try to post a new photo every day, but things happen.  So the goal is five photos a week. I'll send an update to my Facebook friends weekly. 
  • There is no theme, but there might be. 
  • I really like the word "autumnal," so things might tie into that.  Or not. 
That's it. A simple project. I'll post a bit of geeky stuff with each photo,  like noting the camera, lens, settings, etc.

Ends of an end of the summer tomato, slices removed for a sandwich. Bye, summer!

Panasonic G3, Olympus 12-50mm lens, 1/4 second, f/8.0, ISO 400