15_the_circle: (Default)
Saturday, October 16th, 2010 11:58 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

This afternoon's light provided more than enough excuse for a walk around. 



Woodward Park

This ginkgo is just starting to turn. 

   
Ginkgo biloba

Upper field

This week the Grove secured ownership of the upper field, wrapping up several years of struggle and litigation.  Next to the preserved portion, in a part upon which construction will soon begin, stands this tree (it has appeared in this space before).  The development plan calls for its preservation, as part of which the vines by which it was surrounded have been cleared away, affording a newly unobstructed prospect. 


Lower field

With one corner already carved and paved for a useless new highway the lower field has already fared worse than the upper meadow, and its future is even more bleak.  That which has been planned for it has not yet come to pass, though, so it is still worth a visit. 


Bidens aristosa

The middle of October is not too late to catch the Bearded beggartick in bloom, turning up here as part of a found bouquet. 


 
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Saturday, December 5th, 2009 11:18 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

we don't often get snow this early in the season, and if tomorrow's forecast holds it will be melted before the day is out. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



snowy facade

snowy facade
snowy façade

Center Street

the snow accretes to good effect onto twigs, leaves and berries. 

snow on twigs snow on honeysuckle leaves
lonicera

Ridge Road

snow on berries

upper field

the reason for heading out in the first place was to see what effect the snow squalls and lighting were having on the treeline between the upper and (what remains of the) lower fields.  these thumbnails really don't do justice to the moody atmosphere ... click on through for a better view. 

treeline recedes into snow
treeline recedes into the snow

the break in the hedgerow
the break in the hedgerow

walking on through the break, nearly ignored by a few deer ambling by, for once I found the highway interchange construction project to be neither an auditory nor a visual blight. 




the upper field's most prominent tree presented a ghostly aspect, snow and light combining in a way that made it impossible to stop for just one image. 

ghostly ghostly
15_the_circle: (dogwood leaf)
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 11:59 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

one afternoon of non-rain was all it took to allow some beautiful light. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



the Circle

Japanese Maple leaves when stacked allow layers of light to create compositions like this. 

layers
acer palmatum

McCathran Hall grounds

this oak leaf with acorn cap is about as evocative of the Grove as anything could get. 

oak leaf and acorn cap
quercus

Upper Field

the bittersweet seems to be coming along sooner than usual this year -- or perhaps I just haven't been paying enough attention to the passage of time. 

backlit
celastrus orbicalatus

this corner of the upper field is slated for residential development at the hands of the Toll Bros.  my own (and strong) preference is for it to stay the way it is, but that doesn't seem to be an option.  this view won't last much longer; that it remains at all is an artifact of recent economic distress. 

before the arrival of the Toll Bros

Ridge Road

Ridge Road has two sharp bends, the first of which exceeds 90° and is colloquially known as "big bend".  before the Town got around to resolving drainage issues the body of water that could be found there after a goodly rain was known as "big bend lake". 

big bend is marked by this large maple, caught at its brilliant best in Sunday afternoon's sweetlight.  for me even the power lines don't detract from the setting, rather they seem to help frame the treetop. 

maple in afternoon light at big bend
acer
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, February 10th, 2008 11:58 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]
[first image crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] photogrove]

the Grove is not just known for its trees, it is defined by them.  our East and West woods are zoned for forest and the almost all of the land, in public and private ownership alike, is wooded. 

a contrast from this pattern is provided by the fields to our E.  we're still battling in court for part of the upper field to be set aside and protected as a legacy open space preserve and buffer against the development and highway construction that awaits the lower fields. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Upper Field

even on first acquaintance the upper field's one large tree is striking.  it has the ill fortune to have grown upon the portion of the field for which development is inevitable.  the developers always tells us "such an impressive tree, of course it will be spared" but all the site plans I've ever seen show its spot cleared and built upon. 

the tree
watch what they do, not what they say



why is the field so important to the Grove? 

skyscape

our treeline is impressive in its own right but when seen across the field it takes on an ancillary role to the skyscape above, providing a balance of the majestic and the humbling to our beautiful setting. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, December 30th, 2007 02:25 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

didn't get out until rather late, by which time there wasn't much left in the way of light. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution image)



upper field

for as long as I can recall these old pieces of precast concrete pipe have been lying along the path in the break in the hedgerow between the upper and lower fields. 

pipes

the drift of leaves softens their edges and the vines growing up around them echo the circular forms. 



lower field

this image was taken from the spot where I used to gather bittersweet. 

cat hitachi
Cat Hitachi
construction machinery at rest

of all the methods available for controlling invasive species, building a freeway interchange on top of them has got to count as one of the more extreme measures. 



Crabbs Branch Way

you could even say they glow
dried cherries on the bough

you could even say they glow - backlit by brake lights and turn signals in the shopping centre parking lot. 



crane at dusk

it is held in Japanese folk tradition that a crane is a sign of good fortune but somehow I don't quite think this is what they had in mind. 



if you like you can make your own
image: lhs1701.com
15_the_circle: (dried)
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 08:23 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

with a Ridge Road cottage porch in the background this plump fellow was munching away on rose hips from the dreaded invasive Rosa multiflora.  with such a cheerful countenance as this how could one complain about its participation in the spread of the pest plant? 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



upper field

rose hip eater

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, September 16th, 2007 11:10 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

last week there was some good news from the court with regard to the Grove's efforts to acquire the upper field as a legacy open space preserve.  or there wasn't, depending on who you ask. 

so far those whose outlook has been less favourable have been wrong more than they have been right so for the nonce I'm hoping for an outcome less bitter and more sweet.  whatever form it may take, one thing of which we can be certain is that it will happen in its own time. 

it's been a stretch for us to try to do even what we are attempting for the upper field; the lower field and the woodlands around it will be lost to highway construction and development.  the survey markers, vehicle tracks, test wells and other visible reminders all point to the same thing: the destruction of this little piece of land that has been doing quite well on its own for a long time, a time that is now running short. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



upper field

distant treeline through gap in hedgerow

through this gap in the hedgerow between the upper and lower fields is the top of a treeline that gives a pleasing depth of the view.  for now. 

the upper field, if we do manage to annex it, will come to us without the hedgerow.  the trees in the distance, if I have been interpreting the maps and diagrams correctly, are on the site of a multilevel highway interchange.  concrete spans soaring through the air might thrill civil engineers, construction contractors, politicians and motorists.  but not me. 

15_the_circle: (dried)
Monday, July 30th, 2007 11:24 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

take a walk through the field and the teasel is easy to find: the stalks are easily more than 2 m high, towering over the prevailing line of brush top even as it rises in the absence of mowing or cleansing fire. 

their shape and form are fascinating, leading one to wonder whether they inspired the designers of the Jetsons' urban environment.  looking at them, one thing is clear: this is one species that's doing its best to attract airborne pollinators (more on that later). 

what they attracted in today's late afternoon sun was somebody bumbling through the field with camera and tripod.  there's no sound track so let's just agree that had you been within earshot of my encounters with nettle and multiflora rose you would have heard the praises of long trouser cuffs and sturdy fabric.  yeah, that's right, I'm sure that's what I said. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



upper field

Teasel

Teasel

Teasel

Teasel
Dipsacus fullonum







15_the_circle: (dried)
Saturday, July 28th, 2007 10:39 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

I haven't tired of these, not yet.  for those who have, I'm sorry. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



upper field

Queen Anne's Lace
Daucus carota

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Saturday, July 14th, 2007 11:15 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

in Japan a shimenawa is a straw rope with white zigzag paper strips (gohei), used to delimit boundaries of sacred objects or sites and can be seen on torii gates or around sacred trees and stones. 


(image gacked from hotweb.or.jp)

much of Shinto is incomprehensible to gaijin but I've always thought this aspect to be worthy -- surely the Grove has no shortage of spots where they ought to be used. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



upper field

in our woods it's a different story.  Japanese wisteria has spread unchecked through stretches of the East Woods, posing the most serious invasive species threat we are facing.  this images could have been taken in any number of spots but as it happens they are of the upper field hedgerow as seen from Ridge Road. 

wisteria

I'm so used to taking images of small things that the size of these tendrils may not be readily apparent: the vines making up these strands are each 1½-2 inches in diameter. 

wisteria
wisteria
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Saturday, July 14th, 2007 11:02 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

this afternoon I followed my steps back to the scene of yesterday's images to catch a different light. 

it's a long way to Pad 39A down at the Cape, to Kourou or to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  but looking at this frail craft poised for launch, the difference seems one of scale rather than of kind. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



upper field

launch complex
Cirsium arvense
15_the_circle: (dried)
Friday, July 13th, 2007 11:59 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



upper field

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's lace
Daucus carota


15_the_circle: (dried)
Friday, July 13th, 2007 11:57 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

for starters, I'm going out on a taxonomic limb to label these thistles, however tentatively, as C. arvense or Canada thistle. 

the flowers of 1½ weeks ago are now launching seeds into the wind for dispersal; the goldfinches have also been feeding on them which is certain to further that processes. 

it's a noxious weed and an invasive species, certified as such by our state and federal governments.  nonetheless it's hard to hold the grudge so thoroughly when one of the seeds comes drifting by on a light breeze. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



upper field

Canada thistle

Canada thistle
Cirsium arvense


Canada thistle
websnagged





this one didn't get very far. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Monday, July 2nd, 2007 11:53 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



upper field

thistle
Cirsium __________

so we have these thistles growing in the field.  Cirsium is a genus containing 93 species that epitomise the old saying "never send an ignoramus to do a botanist's job" (or something to that extent). 

my first  thought  guess was was Cirsium virginianum or Virginia thistle, but its profile in the USDA Plants Database gives the distinct impression that we're not within its range -- who am I to contradict the government?  second guess is C. pumilum or pasture thistle.  if that doesn't hold up, well, there are another 91 to choose from and it's getting late. 

place your bets if you will but I'm going to catch some Zs, pursued I'm sure by nightmares of unclassifiable thistles (except for artichokes, Cynara scolymus, which I can readily identify and the gastronomic properties of which I am always happy to subject to further testing, whatever the sacrifice). 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, June 28th, 2007 11:57 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



upper field

upper field
as seen from Ridge Road ...

.. 1 more .. )


15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, April 19th, 2007 10:46 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Upper Field

I really can't help going back to wander through the clusters of goldenrod ball galls scattered through the upper and lower fields.  the parasite only spends about ten days outside the gall before dying off; the young go on to repeat the cycle.  the galls come in more variety than one might think: most are on a single stalk but here's one with branches coming out of it in multiple directions. 

brachiated caul


it
also
makes
a
fine
vertical
composition
as
seen
from
below
with
the
afternoon
sky
for
a
backdrop

brachiated caul





















15_the_circle: (dried)
Thursday, March 8th, 2007 07:21 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

the air temperature hovered around the freezing mark most of the day but finally worked its way higher in the afternoon, with some help from the full sun coming down through a clear sky.  the signs of seasonal change are there if one looks: it may be too cold for anything else to come into bloom, but there's more to it than that. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Woodward Park

this vine is growing up a  telephone  utility pole along Oak Street.  high up in the air its pods have opened, letting the seeds fall where they may. 

pods

... two more ... )
Campsis radicans




upper field

the field hosts many cauls, almost all of them on single stem plants.  for the sake of variety, this is on one with branches. 

brachiatinng caul



Woodward Park

meanwhile, back in the park, the martin house is being perched on by this little one: those feathers are keeping it warm enough to disregard the icicles coming down from the split PVC pipe roof tiles. 

perching
15_the_circle: (dried)
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 09:14 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

note:  during this time off I have resolved to try (other than while traveling) for a daily image posting.  out of consideration to subscribers I will no longer be posting links to each day's image to the Grove's listserv (it's considered bad form to spam Yahoo! groups for blog readership) but will send a weekly summary for those who prefer periodic reminders in that form.  for a selective view into this journal, containing only image posts in this series, see:
    www.livejournal.com/~15_the_circle/tag/grovescape

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Upper Field

the field has an abundance of cauls.  they come in a variety of colours and surface textures. 

caul   caul
 
caul   caul



morning and midday had an abundance of full sun, but by mid afteroon overcast had set in.  cameras are like human eyes: you aren't supposed to point them directly into the Sun.  under these atmospheric conditions it was possible to do just that, capturing both sun and backlit treeline. 

watery winter sun   watery winter sun

in these images the solar disc was magnified by light scatter to about four times its size as actually observed. 

15_the_circle: (snow cottage)
Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 10:44 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

yesterday's afternoon and evening snow didn't hold up for long against this morning's clear sky and brilliant sunlight.  some of it did linger for a while: 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Zöe Wadsworth Park

gazebo
the Gazebo

Music Weekend seems a long ways off. 



Upper Field

track
track

this narrow track ran through the field even when it was under cultivation.  it is frequented by Grovers out for a walk but it also used by the creatures who will be displaced when the parcel is developed. 



break in hedgerow
hedgerow break

a hedgerow separates the upper and lower fields; this break provides easy passage between them. 



path

this path, used for many years by tractors and other farming implements, now provides access for dog walkers and other recreational trespassers. 



the Circle

[crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] doorwindowwall]

sun pickets
Peter's fence

bright light streaming through white pickets, the composition was attractive though the image doesn't adequately convey the pattern of shadows on the ground. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, January 28th, 2007 02:38 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

having house guests two weekends in a row has been a treat.  last weekend [livejournal.com profile] earthyshadow came up from GA and this weekend The Professor was here from FL after a conference. 

yesterday's image posting was incomplete and I might as well admit that a couple of images didn't make it because I accidentally deleted them after having pulled them from the camera.  so after seeing The Professor off I headed over to the field to reshoot.  the penalty was: no light.  the compositions had been all about outline and shadow anyway but yesterday's blue skies were a very different background from today's moody grey overcast. 

(for best results, click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



hedgerow gap between upper and lower field

vine outline
bittersweet

no leaves, no berries, no colour, no texture:  nothing but shape and form. 




lower field

teasel outline
teasel

it's hard to miss teasel, the way it pokes up into the sky.  under normal conditions the most prominent features are the texture of its honeycomb tufts and the play of light between structure and shadow. 

take all that away and it's still worth a second and third look. 




the fields are part of a tract that includes some woods, within which can be found the ruins of an abandoned house.  clumps of daffodils have come up along the creek at the bottom of the slope, vestiges perhaps of a former garden. 

grabbed

on its grounds this small drama is playing out: a vine has snapped this twig from a tree, but on it pods have opened and seeds have scattered. 

upper field

paths runs along the N side of the hedgerow and around the perimeter of the lower field. 

perimeter path

this part of the upper field is not included in the portion we're trying to have preserved as legacy open space.