Sunday, December 09, 2007

Not Much of a Fall This Year

So I photographed flowers instead.

These are the last of my pictures taken before my camera broke, again :[. It broke Thanksgiving, right before my drive west to the Texas Hill Country. I was so disappointed. I was really looking forward to photographing the fall color.

There wasn't much color to see, though. The trees that still had leaves on them, had brown leaves. No oranges, yellows, or reds. It's sad. I heard on the news that it was like that for most of the country. While driving, I thought about how when we are ill, we lose color in our complexion, and when were under extreme stress, our hair turns gray. I wondered if the same was true for this place where we live. Is this a sign that the earth is ill?

Like an auto-immune disorder, Earth's weather patterns seem to be on a path of self destruction. There seems to be a parallel between the way we pollute our environment and the way we pollute our own bodies. Saccharine, aspartame, acetaminophen, and MSG runs through our veins, like pesticides and heavy metals run through our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Toxic waste sites permeate through the layers of earth, like malignant tumors that contaminate our insides. Crime, violence, and hatred have affected every community, along with our planet's violent reaction to global warming. There's a profound connection between us and this place we call home. The sicker we get, the sicker our planet gets, and vice versa.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Still Color along the Creek

Most of the trees have lost their leaves, but there is still color along Nashua Creek. View larger: 1, 2.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ginger's Geometry

Ginger's Geometry, by Fax Sinclair. Fax is published in our first issue of Silk Creek Review and will hopefully be published in the new third issue as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sunset in the eastern Kingston Range

Sunset in the eastern Kingston Range,Eastern California about 3 miles
from the Nevada border. 4 November 2007

Photo by Dave Piece

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Butternut Creek

We're visiting Syracuse NY and I took this shot of Butternut Creek.
We'd hoped to get over to Silk Creek but it's not looking good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dry Creeks

We were very disapponited during our visit to Hamilton to find a
number of the waterfalls and creeks that fed them were dry.

1 & 2: The Devil's Punchbowl Falls and its feeder creek were dry.
3 & 4: Beamer's Falls was almost dry. Only one tiny rivulet trickled down.
5: Felker's Falls was damp, but it may simply have been from the
rain. No visible trickle was seen or heard.

Why are the creeks and their falls dry? Is it climate change? Or a
dry year? They have never been dry before when we've visited at the
same time of year. Where are the fish, crayfish, frogs, turtles,
polliwogs and insects who normally live there and the herons and
raccoons who feed on them?

PS: Witch hazel is in flower at the creek.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Postcard from Hamilton: At Grindstone Marsh

Blue jay, grey squirrel, mallards and cardinal, all tame because they
were fed by visitors along the Grindstone Marsh trail in Hamilton.
Photos by me (Mary Taitt).

along Tiffany Creek

Yesterday we hiked along Tiffany Creek in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The Niagara Escarpment runs through Hamilton, so there are many
waterfalls and gorges. See more of the falls along the escarprment.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Herb Robert; Spring Wildflowers in Autumn

Herb Robert; Spring Wildflowers in Autumn, by Mary Stebbins Taitt.
Click image to view larger.

We're headed for Hamilton later today. Last time we were there we saw
spring wildflowers blooming in November! Maybe we will see some
again this year. Whatever we see, I hope to post it here at some
point. :-D Have agood weekend. :-D

We are leaving today and will be back Tuesday. I may be incommunicado
the whole time or I mapy be ble to get on briefly, but no commenting
for sure.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Selected Silk Creek Pics

Scott Carter has selected some past and recent pics from Silk Creek.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Two views of Arcata Marsh

It's hard to believe that both these pictures were taken on the same warm day (Saturday), and not very far from each other. They're just different parts of the Arcata Marsh.

Photos by LeafLady (Gail)

LeafLady's Egret

photo by LeafLady (Gail).

Monday, November 05, 2007

Flame tree on Nashua Creek

A sugar maple. Click image to view larger. See another view of this and one of Elmwood pond. Photos by Mary Stebbins Taitt.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Long Way Foam

by Leaf Lady (Gail).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mercer Arboretum's Oxbow

When I look at this picture, I see the silently serene beauty of the Spring Creek area where I grew up. "Silently serene", though, were not the words that were floating around in my head as I was taking this picture. The woods I was walking through were not silent or serene at all, but alive and busy with chattering squirrels and birds, the occasional song of an owl, and the cry of a distant hawk echoing through the forest trees. I was not serene, but exhilarated by the first cool fall breeze of the year, and the smell of pine needles blanketing the forest floor.

I heard somewhere that researchers believe that a walk in the woods [or nature in general] releases a chemical in the body that has healing properties and can calm anxiety much in the same way sunlight causes the body to produce vitamin D. At that moment, though, I could not have cared less about such research, because I had my camera in hand, and couldn't wait to take pictures of anything I found interesting.

As I approached the Oxbow, the sounds of the forest start to change. A chorus of croaking frogs gradually got louder. Thousands of frogs. There was no mistaking the Oxbow's location, even though you can't see it until you reach the edge of where it slopes down into the bog.

The slope is steep, so to be sure of my footing, I removed my flip flops and descended barefoot. As a kid, I used to run through these woods barefoot all the time, so it seems natural to do this. When I reached the bank, I heard tiny splashes in the water directly in front of me, but never saw the frogs leap in. All the other frogs croaked louder as if to sound a warning. The mud is black, and I know from experience that it will stain my feet for days. The water is murky with a green algae bloom covering it's surface. I don't dare stick my feet in it for fear of what lurks beneath, like water moccasins or any other foul creature my imagination could dream up. Again, as I swatted away the mosquitoes, the serene beauty of this place did not occur to me.

Then I turned to my left and looked up. The afternoon sunlight was streaming in through the trees, casting shadows across the algae, and a green glow to the whole scene. The reflections of the trees in the water were crossing the shadows on the algae. Excitedly, I started clicking away with my camera until the sun dipped down below the tree line and the shadows were gone, the green glow had faded to natural earth tones, and what seemed like minutes had faded into hours.

Reluctantly, I started back to my car, stopping for any excuse to take a picture, but there was not enough light, and I didn't bring my tripod. The first thing I did when I got home was turn on my computer so I could see my photos. I sat at my desk tired in a very peaceful and relaxed way after my four hour walk through the Arboretum. While I was glancing through my photos and came across this one, it occurred to me that it took my camera to show me the real beauty and serenity of this place where I grew up and have always taken for granted.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some More Reflections for Mary

Mary inspired me. The last two are upside down.

Nashua Creek

Nashua Creek runs down through the center of Belle Isle and Biker Buddy and I often walk along its banks. It was rainy and windy and cold yesterday, but we went anyway, and were glad we did!

see 4 more of these shots here. (Photos by Mary Stebbins Taitt, click images to view larger.)
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