Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Trees, Grassses, and More Cattails

January 31, 2021

Another walk around my neighborhood Friday, this time to check out some water features other than Island Pond, yielded a few goodies.

1 If I remember right, the white trees at the edge of Green Pond are sycamores.

2 The corkscrew willow at the edge of Heiser Pond is more interesting to me in winter than in other seasons.

3 This oak tree trails its branches in Green Pond, now holding them tight with ice.

4 Long grass (or it is a sedge?) grows along Farmer’s Pond.


6 Some cattails are a jumble in Heiser Pond.

7a The cattails in Buttonbush Vernal Pool are overshadowed by trees along the edge of the water.

7b Reprocessed

7c Reprocessed again

8 The sinking sun picks out cattails in Farmer’s Pond.

11 responses

  1. These are all great Linda (of course) but No. 6 is my favourite 😊 The grasses look like they’re part of a dance, an outtake from a performance.


    January 31, 2021 at 5:05 AM

    • Thank you, Alastair. If #6 is your favorite, then I’m glad I didn’t give up on this shot. What you see is quite a close crop of the original, which just didn’t have any punch. I like your idea of dancing grasses. They were definitely not moving when I photographed them, though—probably too cold.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 31, 2021 at 10:15 AM

  2. I like the radiating shadows in #7. The shadows in that picture and the following one look so blue.

    Not having heard of the corkscrew willow, I searched for information and found this in Wikipedia: “A similar willow species also native to northern China, Salix matsudana (Chinese willow), is now included in Salix babylonica as a synonym by many botanists, including the Russian willow expert Alexey Skvortsov. The only reported difference between the two species is S. matsudana has two nectaries in each female flower, whereas S. babylonica has only one; however, this character is variable in many willows (for example, crack willow, Salix fragilis, can have either one or two), so even this difference may not be taxonomically significant. A horticultural variant with twisted twigs and trunk, the corkscrew willow (S. matsudana var. tortuosa), is widely planted.”


    January 31, 2021 at 7:51 AM

    • Thanks, Steve. I was lucky to be able to stand just where the radiating shadows (#7) fell evenly to the left and right—lucky because I was standing on a deck over the water (now ice) and didn’t have much room to maneuver. The shadows in #s 7 and 8 look bluer than they actually were. I could have neutralized the blue, but I liked it so left the photos that way, especially because blue and orange (or orangish yellow) is perhaps my favorite color combination.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 31, 2021 at 10:09 AM

  3. The corkscrew willow is a pleasing image and looks very nice against the deep blue of the sky. I think most trees are more interesting when bare and showing all their twisted branches. We…they are pretty interesting in autumn too. 🙂 Love those grasses too.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 1, 2021 at 5:07 AM

    • Thank you, Steve. I agree about winter and fall trees. Even spring trees can be interesting. I’m still glad for summer trees, but most don’t ask to be photographed. I guess I prefer grasses after they turn that straw color. Maybe green is just hard to get right—I mean to photograph in an interesting way.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 3, 2021 at 12:29 PM

  4. Your remark about trees making you happy in summer but not asking to be photographed is a good one! It’s also clever the way you photographed the pale trees through the dark branches in the first photo. There’s a famous kind of corkscrew (I guess) willow that gardeners use, called Harry Lauder’s walking stick – but oops, I just found out it’s not a willow. Anyway, who wouldn’t love those forms? The grasses or sedges contrast with them nicely…maybe grasses because it looks like they don’t have edges? I like the way #8 follows #7 and I think #7 is my favorite. It’s beautifully seen. It’s a bit nostalgic for me, since I don’t see that kind of scene anymore. Thanks for the walk!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 5, 2021 at 12:03 PM

    • In that first photo, I’m not sure I’d have included the dark branches if I could have avoided them—so I’m glad you like them. I can tell you who wouldn’t love those corkscrew forms: my botanist husband. He likes his plants simple. Your choosing #7 as your favorite made me look at it again, hard. I didn’t like what I saw, or rather I decided to try to improve what I didn’t like about it even earlier. I didn’t try hard enough with that photo. So just now I took the image into Color Efex Pro and gave it the Detail Extractor and Color Contrast filters. I like it better now. You can compare the two on the blog site; I left the old one up. Let me know what you think. Thanks for writing, Lynn.


      February 5, 2021 at 4:43 PM

      • I appreciate your effort, doing several versions. I found the original slightly out of focus and wondered if that had to do with WordPress, which sometimes does that. #3 & #6 look a little out of focus to me, too. But then when you sharpened #7 I think maybe something else was lost. Instead of enjoying the whole scene, my eyes want to linger in the details of the cattails, but I think the beauty of the photo lies more in the contrast between warm and cool (sunlight/cattails and shadows) and all those nice diagonals. The shadows in the upper left suffer from the sharpening or increased contrast (or something) in the reprocessed versions. I hope you’re not sorry you asked now! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        February 6, 2021 at 2:39 PM

        • I’m not at all sorry I asked. Your close attention is always welcome, Lynn. I think I know what my out-of-focus problem is now. Apparently, autofocus doesn’t work well when the temperature goes below freezing. Probably everyone knows this but me. But I guess I can live and learn. Concerning #7b, although I liked the cattails being in better focus after playing with Color Efex Pro, I, too, did not like what happened to the shadows. I tried to fix that in #7c, but I agree that my attempt was not successful. From now on, when the weather is below freezing, I will use manual focus, and I won’t post any more blurry photographs. The next post will be photos from my archives. I should be able to find at least one good one. 😉


          February 6, 2021 at 8:48 PM

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