Friday, December 21, 2012

A Walk Before the Storm

 We took a walk in the woods near our house yesterday and photographed scenes we won't see again for months.  As of today they are all covered by 6 inches of snow and there's lots more on the way.  There were many patches of ice crystals forcing their way up through the pine needle carpet.  Click on each photo to better appreciate the patterns in the ice crystals.
 The curved crystals in this patch made me wish I could do a time-lapse video of their formation.
 The top of a Douglas-fir stump supported a nice garden of mosses and fungi.
 This bunch of Pine Drops matured in the summer of 2011 and made it through the following winter.  I photographed it several times during the summer of 2012, and it looks like it might make it through another winter.
 Another attractive patch of ice crystals.
 The Prince's Pine, in the Heath or Wintergreen family, was bright green where all the other plant material has turned brown.  The color is striking on a cloudy, gray day.
 A nice formation of icicles on an old Incense Cedar snag looks like stalactites in a cave.
 A Douglas-fir trunk supports a nice variety of mosses and lichens.
 Boyle Creek runs through this patch of forest, and wherever there is a mini-waterfall the mist is thrown up into the overhanging branches of shrubs where it freezes and creates beautiful patterns of icicles.
 These bright pink bracket fungi stood out like little beacons in the shady forest.
 A nice crop of tiny mushrooms burst up through a patch of moss.  At first glance they looked like the sporophyte generation of the moss.  I'll miss scenes like this during the months of snow cover.
I photographed this patch of small fungi on my front lawn a few days ago.  Looks like the morning temperatures in the teens and twenties have taken a toll.  Of course now they are under six inches of snow and will be part of the soil by the spring melt.

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