Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Spring Debuts and Winter Leftovers

March 14, 2021

Tuesday was my first trip to Schoepfle Garden since October. As expected, the river was running pretty high, so I didn’t get down to some of my favorite spots, but it was good to be back.

1 The pale-blue sky, reflected in the river in this photograph of one of my favorite willows, was one of the few spots of color.

2 Pale blue and shades of brown predominated.

3 Hosta leaves have always appealed to me more in this state than in their green mode.

4 Melting ice on the Back Pond revealed last autumn’s leaves and this season’s algae, resulting in khaki coloring.

5 The Back Pond seems to be a gathering place for old leaves. The algae won’t stay this visible in the pond for long.

6 The brown foliage of Iris Pseudacorus in the Front Pond is being supplanted by new green leaves. The plant is invasive but tolerated in moderate numbers at Schoepfle, maybe because it is so pretty.

7 Dotting the pale blue and brown scenery are several beech trees in orange regalia.

8 There’s an interesting story behind beech leaves’ clinging to the branches through winter.

9 Around here the year’s first films of Leptothrix discophora (the blue colors on top of the water in this photograph of the Back Pond) usually don’t form until May. So I was not expecting to see them. I didn’t question my perception for long, seeing also the nearby telltale iron-oxide precipitates—another sign of the iron bacteria at work. (About seven years ago the National Public Radio show Living on Earth ran an interesting segment on the iron bacteria, just FYI.)

20 responses

  1. Maybe people tolerate some of that alien iris because it’s hard to get rid of it completely.
    Viewing the first picture from a distance, I could imagine I was seeing the shadow of a tree on the water rather than a tree itself.
    I still like the sound of the word Leptothrix. Maybe someone will use it as the name of a cartoon character, like Astérix in France.
    Following your links led me to this easy way to tell Leptothrix from an oil slick: “Run a stick through it. If it is L. discophora, the film will break up and stay that way. If oil, it will flow back together immediately.”

    Liked by 1 person

    March 14, 2021 at 9:21 AM

    • You could be right about the iris, Steve, but last year was the first time I saw that the park people had cut down the plant as if to at least limit its seed production. All other years it had survived unmolested. I have photographed this willow many times. Probably my favorite shot of it is a black and white version from 2016. (See Will your Leptothrix be able to breathe iron and manganese? Sounds like a superhero to me.


      March 15, 2021 at 3:34 PM

      • I can see why you favor that black and white of the willow with all the sparkles on the water.
        Leptothrix the superhero will have to come from you, given how much you know and how passionate you are about it. Then you can be sure he/she will breathe iron and manganese.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 15, 2021 at 4:17 PM

        • No, no, Leptothrix the cartoon character is all yours, to create as you wish. Bear in mind, however, that Asterix has superhuman powers, so (I argue) Leptothrix should, too. Found this on Wikipedia: “Asterix is a diminutive but fearless and cunning warrior, ever eager for new adventures. He lives around 50 BC in a fictional village in northwest Armorica (a region of ancient Gaul mostly equivalent to modern Brittany). This village is celebrated as the only part of Gaul still not conquered by Julius Caesar and his Roman legions. The inhabitants of the village gain superhuman strength by drinking a magic potion prepared by the druid, Getafix (French: Panoramix).”


          March 15, 2021 at 8:28 PM

          • What I wonder about is the pronunciation – will the Leptothrix superhero’s name be pronounced with a French accent? That would be nice. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            March 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM

  2. I like this set Linda, well seen ! All the best, Jürgen

    Liked by 2 people

    March 14, 2021 at 11:04 AM

    • Thank you, Jürgen. Most of these photos are subtle variations of photographs I’ve taken before. But not #2, taken from near the parking lot. I usually walk further into the park before I start shooting. My best to you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2021 at 3:35 PM

  3. This is such an interesting time of the year, I like your images very much, partly because they capture something that few people think of photographing, that slightly melancholy stage in the annual cycle of growth and decomposition just before the new growth of Spring.

    Liked by 2 people

    March 15, 2021 at 4:08 AM

    • Thanks, Jessica. I like your description of this time of year as “slightly melancholy.” I’m going to miss the beautiful snow that we had this year, and the gorgeous straw color of dried cattail leaves. Green everywhere is harder to photograph well. Even flowers are difficult, I think—if you want anything that differs from seed-catalog photographs. I saw some flowers on this excursion (winter aconite and snowdrops—I don’t know if you have them where you are). I photographed them, but the photographs were not at all interesting. I guess spring will be a challenge for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2021 at 3:37 PM

  4. Interesting images! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2021 at 4:40 AM

  5. Yes; fine set! Good to be outside! 🙂 Love nr3!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2021 at 7:28 AM

    • Thanks, Harrie. I’m always looking at dead hosta leaves (when they’re around) and have many photographs of them, all pretty similar. But I’d never seen them skeletonized  like some of these were.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2021 at 3:38 PM

  6. I like this set, Linda. I agree on #3, having a small collection of my own in this state, although I also find them appealing in summer and fall. #4 reminds me of milky quartz with pyrite inclusions. It’s good to be out in reasonable temperatures again, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2021 at 10:00 PM

  7. Thank you, Mic. Your thoughts on #4 are interesting and fun. They make me realize again how much I usually disregard a sense of scale. (See the Matter Matters link at the top of this page for more on this.) It is good to be out with the camera these days. Tomorrow I will be shooting in sunshine and temperatures rising to 63. I should see many more signs of spring, I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    March 20, 2021 at 10:35 AM

  8. I remember that willow – it’s nice to see it from such a different perspective, or I should say, in such different light. Beautiful. What you said about Hosta leaves made me smile. They do look wonderful this way. It looks like a pavement roller ran over them, they’re so flat. 🙂 I love all those pale textures and lines and the flatness. The ice looks very attractive in #4; the depth in #5 is nice, too. Yesterday I photographed last year’s leaves in a shallow puddle and thought of you. 🙂 It took me a while to understand the iris photo – they’re mostly under water, right? The clump is beautiful – I could see a series of photos of that clump through the changing light & seasons. Same for the willow. Thank you for showing the beech trees – that look is quintessential new York, too, in certain places, and I miss seeing it. After this I’ll click on the beech leaves link – I know they cling but not why. You must have been excited to see the Leptothrix! It was an altogether good outing to Schoepfle Garden, wasn’t it? You were away too long! I hope you’ll be getting back there more often now.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 22, 2021 at 12:50 PM

    • The ice in #4 was quite unusual to my eyes—opaque with a topping of melt. Last year’s leaves can be pretty interesting in March, can’t they. Thanks for thinking of me. 🙂 Yes, only the iris leaves of the lightest shade are above water. I’ll keep my eyes on this clump to see if I can give you at least one other decent image in a different season (and therefore light). I’ll try to get a later-spring photo of the willow for you. I took one in April 2005 that I like except for the exposure. I think I’ve learned a thing or two about exposures since then. I was over the moon about seeing the Leptothrix discophora. Think I’ll go back to Schoepfle next weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 22, 2021 at 8:36 PM

  9. More uniquely Linda images. 🙂 Of course, I homed in on the beech tree and enjoyed the article you linked. Do you subscribe to Northern Woodlands or just found the article by searching? It is one of my favorites although I was not a subscriber in 2010 so missed that one. I am also a contributor of sorts.
    I do appreciate green hosta leaves but like your take too. As you might guess I like number 5 which is similar to what I posted yesterday.


    March 22, 2021 at 6:25 PM

    • Thanks, Steve. No, I’d never heard of Northern Woodlands; it just showed up in my search. Glad they recognize your talent. Your post of yesterday had more color than my #5—and beautiful thin ice. But I’ll take the comparison. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      March 22, 2021 at 8:36 PM

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