Blog Archives

Spring in Pennsylvania

Spring in Pennsylvania is a beautiful sight, although when you have seasonal allergies an occasional day of rain is welcome to knock some of the pollen out of the air.    However, I will gladly take some sneezing and itching eyes rather than endure the heat and humidity that is sure to arrive soon.

Across the street from my new house is one of the county’s largest parks:   Lancaster County Central Park.    Miles of trails, a small “river”, tennis courts, skate park, baseball and soccer fields; numerous pavilions and even garden plots make this large green space a welcome (and handy) escape from the city.

 

Move and Central Park Walk 005

 

Yesterday on a beautiful morning walk, I captured the images below of spring in full bloom.

 

 

Move and Central Park Walk 043 Move and Central Park Walk 007 Move and Central Park Walk 014 Move and Central Park Walk 019 Move and Central Park Walk 040 Move and Central Park Walk 071

 

 

 

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Portrait of a Tree – Osange Orange

In my ongoing quest to find decent hiking here on the Eastern Shore, I visited a state wildlife sanctuary called Wye Island.   Comprised primarily of pastures, fields, and woods I arrived on the first day of shotgun deer hunting at the sanctuary.    That pretty much ruled out hiking!!

I was able to take one short hike along a path that lead to the Wye River area.   All around and over me were these tree/shrubs that I came to learn are called Osage Orange Trees.

Wye River 007

 

With a little research I learned that the wood of these trees is extremely hard and used in things like tool handles.    As I suspected, although they are called “orange” trees they are not in the citrus family at all, but the same family as the mulberry.   The path was strewn with the “fruits” from these trees which were sticky to the touch and when opened yielded a very sticky, white milky substance.   They are not edible (thanks to wikapedia I didn’t have to try).    The fruits were about the size of softballs.

Wye River 019 

Wye River 018

 

Although not native to this area, the Osage Orange was brought to this area to be used as hedgerows and to create perimeters around livestock fields.   The thorny branches discouraged escape.

Portrait of a Tree – The Birch

Saw some lovely birch trees on my early morning hike yesterday.   Eagerly awaiting the leaves changing colors.   But in the meantime, they make for interesting black and white subjects.

I really liked the way the morning light was hitting the bark in the photograph below.

Portrait of a Tree – Right Outside my Door

I live in town.   Nothing close to a city to be certain, but for a small town we have fairly “high density housing”.    The age of the town also means that there are numerous old trees that provide welcome shade and character to our streets.

I was pleasantly surprised to find just such a tree right outside my front door.  Over the seasons it has provided a varied and interesting canopy (and view) to an otherwise crowded house and yard landscape.

Now it is beginning to slowly shed its leaves in anticipation of the next season.   Below, are a series of photos I’ve taken over the months since I arrived.    This tree (by now), feels like an old friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait of a Tree – Connection

Haven’t posted one of these in some time, but on last week’s hike I saw this interesting example of a decaying tree that had been taken over by a woodpecker.   The woodpeckers strip the bark off the trees with their beaks to get at the insects.   Another great example of the cycle of nature and how this tree, although it is “dead” is still providing shelter and sustenance to other creatures.

Connection – we are all connected – to everyone and everything.

 

 

 

 

Portrait of a Tree – Driftwood

 

Nature doing a wonderful job of creating sculpture along the shoreline at Hunters Beach.  I think the patterns and textures are amazing.

 

 

Portrait of a Tree (from Wonderland)

I really enjoyed this composition of trees – some living, some dying; but all beautiful, and all contributing something to their ecosystem.

 

Portrait of a Tree – “How Old Am I”?

While walking along a section of fire road that turns into “Hemlock” trail, I came across this felled tree.   The big old tree had obviously fallen and was blocking the road, requiring it to be sawed.   The trunk was lying along the edge of the trail, and I thought how beautiful it was and wondered how old it was and what all it had experienced in its lifetime.

 

 

Portrait of a Tree – XIV – abstract art

This is really more like portrait of leaves.   But as I paused along the trail, the bright green of these new leaves against the blue sky really caught my eye.   I felt like the image had a nice abstract feel to it.

 

 

Deciding to “play” with that abstract image, I manipulated the photo above in my post processing software and came up with this effect.

 

 

I rather like the effect, what do you think?

 

Portrait of Tree – XVIII

I spotted this old stump of a tree that apparently had been hollowed out by weather and insects.   Mother nature decided it would make a perfect “planter” for a new tree!    Talk about reuse and recycle!

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