Friday, September 04, 2009

EMPS: Testing With Trees

In the latest Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, Carly is asking for pictures of trees. Oh, that's easy. I could do a week's worth of postings just from archived photos of Reid Park - but I won't. It's taken me all week just to put together this one entry!

There are more than a few trees there that I've photographed a lot, because they're photogenic, because they frame a sunset, because they have birds in them, and, well, because I see them rather often, while holding a camera in one hand, the dogs' leashes in the other. But for this shoot I'm going with all new photos, taken late Monday afternoon. As an experiment, I'm not even editing them, except for resize and sharpen lightly, with a few exceptions.

This first shot, as best as I can figure out from my research, is of a California Pepper Tree. It stands near the north entrance of Miko's Corner Playground. I've always thought of it as a willow tree, because of the general shape - but I always knew I was probably wrong in that identification.

Now for the learning curve. After years of dragging my heels, I signed up for flickr a day or two ago. I'm testing the "blog this" function, which seems designed to post one photo only, with no provision for saving it to draft. So if you see this in a feed with just one photo, please click through, because I'll be editing it! There are definitely more photos on the way! You can see the full set at here.

Oh, that looks rather nice. Let's try it again, pasting the HTML from the first photo and changing the particulars:

Pretty good. I had to do some fiddling, but it works okay. Anyway, this is also in Miki's Corner. In the past I've photographed it for the leaves, and especially for the bark. I'm pretty sure it's an Arizona Sycamore. And every time I try to type the word "sycamore," my fingers want to turn it into "Syracuse."

I'm not sure what kind of tree this is, although I have my suspicions. It's been featured in many of my Reid Park sunset and dusk photos.

Here's one of the trees in the olive grove near the rose garden. I'm fascinated by the twisted trunks and roots of them. The olive grove is riddled with the burrows of rock squirrels. I guess they must like olives. Cayenne and Pepper are always sniffing at the base of these trees, trying to figure out where the squirrels are.

I photographed several other trees for this, but let's finish off with one that isn't photogenic in itself. If it stood alone it might look rather nice, but it's all tangled up with two other trees, and it's hard to get a handle on its shape. But that's not important. Can you tell from the photo above what is significant about this tree?

Here's the cropped version. How many black-crowned night herons can you find? This tree is right next to the northern duck pond, and people sometimes go fishing (illegally) and flip their tiny catches onto the sidewalk for the birds to snatch up. So naturally the birds hang out here, waiting for the opportunity.

Update: Carly counts 4 herons, but I swear there were five last night. Perhaps one flew away? Let's try the other picture, one that I saturated a bit to make the herons more visible:

And now I've found the easier way to do a flickr link!

Be sure to check Carly's blog Ellipsis each month for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot!



Carly said...

Hi Karen

Nicely done! Reid Park is a wonderful place, you have shared it with us and now I feel like I have been there! Someone did an excellent job with it's planning. :) Now, as for the Herons, I see 4... am I correct? I love puzzles where you have to find the hidden objects.:)


Margaret said...

What a great place to shoot trees. I really like the shots of the sunset tree and the olive tree trunk.

I see 5 herons!

Carolyn Ford said...

So, you visit doggie parks too! I am sure that was challenging with dog leashes, etc. The park looks very very nice, well shaded and spacious. Great post!

Greg said...

This post is all bark (both meanings as a matter of fact) and lots of bite...meaning substance. I particularly liked the where's waldo edition of find the herons. Great entry, and you worked very hard to get all of these fresh for the assignment.


Mike said...

I like the twisty branches on the olive tree too. Gives it an odd look. Like maybe it's like those living trees in The Wizard of Oz.

Suzanne R said...

That's quite a variety of trees -- in the pictures that came through for me -- and I especially like the herons in them. Great job!

Liz said...

A great collection of photographs.
I am surprised the herons wait for the fish caught by fishermen, as in my experience the herons around here only seem to sit in the trees at the end of the day to laugh at the mainly futile attempts that the fishermen make to emulate their skill.