After the summer of the painted turtle, I hit the Turtle Rock segment of the IAT, but alas, didn’t see any turtles. I’ve never seen a terrestrial species here in Wisconsin, but I keep looking. Luckily there was plenty to keep me occupied in their absence.
Because of the beavers’ new dam, the trail has been rerouted a second time and it’s much easier than it was. Instead of getting my feet wet or making my own bridges with nearby branches, I found this!
And it looks as if it can be moved if the course of the brook changes as the beavers expand and settle in. Pretty nice. But soon I was at my favorite aspen grove and of course I couldn’t resist. This time I did a little creative processing with one of the Lr presets.
It’s a short section, but beautiful. Just beyond it I found some late-fruiting mushrooms – possibly russula variata, but I’m not sure.
Only one of those little fruit flies deigned to stick around for a closer look –
Oh how I love my new macro lens. That image is cropped, but not a lot.
These were a little more into the fall spirit –
Right after this I left the trail to go down to the water. It was low and slow, but still wonderful and the colors. I swear I had to reduce the color intensity in Lightroom because out of the camera they just didn’t look real.
This is a part of the creek that I normally shoot from the other side because it’s too deep to cross. This time it was easy! Very dry and full of fallen leaves. I couldn’t stop shooting this little stretch.
It was amazing. Then I looked downstream. Well, as much as there was a stream. When I was here in the spring, the water was really moving and I saw a mink while I was hanging out. Not sure if they prefer the more placid water or the rush.
Above is my first high-resolution image from the G9. It is a composite of four images, each is one quarter of the photo (corners, but utilizing the whole sensor) and merged in camera to create a giant jpeg. While it isn’t staggering, the difference in detail is noticeable at magnification and I imagine an image like this would print pretty darn well. It’s one of the functions I put on the screen for my landscape work and I’ll have to do more of it in future.
After a little while just soaking in the atmosphere I moved back up to the trail. I have no idea why, really. Ha.
And then back down to the brook. This section is normally pretty calm and rocky, but this time it was leafy, too.
OMG it was wonderful. Quiet and just the sound of the leaves blowing and falling. Occasionally a bird would call. Sometimes a crow. Chickadees. And a frog. It wasn’t making noise, or doing much of anything except conserving energy. Practically stepped on it before it sprang to safety.
Standing by this stretch of water looking back up into the trail was a feast for your eyes. And there was a little…just a touch of sun getting through.
Seriously it was that color. For me it’s the best time of fall – when the greens are still around, but the reds, golds and yellows are bright, vibrant and nearly electric in their glory. And if anything, I lowered the vibrance slider so they wouldn’t look cartoonish.
Then more brook. This time off trail, but not too far. The path winds away on the opposite side and eventually comes back where the brook meets the Wisconsin river, then follows the river down.
And I found these guys on the way –
This year I tried to just sit still and see what nature presented. Sometimes when I hike or kayak with a goal in mind I overlook beauty, or at least something interesting, right under my nose.
One tactic that helps me see better is to switch lenses. I will often keep the wide angle on for a trip into a place and change to the medium telephoto for the return. It shakes things up and also makes me feel better for having actually used all the gear I lugged out!
While I was photographing the maidenhair fern, I almost stepped on another frog, this time a sweet little leopard –
I just love the contrast of its green and the gold and brown of the leaves. When we were taking out the dock around October 10 this year, I spied another one and it came to rest in some big maple leaves, but before I could get the camera, it moved. Uncooperative beastie!
Sometimes these slices let me get a little creative with processing, too. My goal is to showcase something about the scene that wouldn’t be as obvious or interesting if I left it in a more ‘natural’ state. Does that make any sense?
I got captivated by this leaf moving around in an eddy and have several images of it, all processed differently. First I turned the dehaze slider to 100 and it brought up what would have been a very slight blue cast to the water (sky reflection).
This next one is a preset that emphasizes red and aqua.
I think this is just a simple split-tone –
And this is it without anything strange going on –
Maybe I should print them as a group and hang them. Or make a collage image with them. Not sure, but I like them together.
Oh and for the record, water striders are wicked hard to photograph. The is the only image that’s worth a damn.
With the water so low it was fun to walk across it and get landscapes from different perspectives. This is part of a long section that has one high bank and one low after a bit where both sides are low. I love the mossy rocks –
Closer to the Wisconsin river the bank flattens out on one side, but you still have to come down a hill if you stick to the trail.
This is the view from part way down that hill –
Isn’t it low? Water levels in all kinds of things get this way in the fall, whether from natural processes or because of dam and flowage controls. The flow for this one is being affected by the new and improved beaver dam, but since there was an old one in the past, it isn’t a drastic change.
Soon I headed back via the trail instead of following the brook back up. I didn’t regret my choice!
Soon I was back in the glorious aspen grove.
One of these days I really have to explore the pond from the other sides and maybe follow the brook up from there. No trail makes it harder, but it’s possible. As it is, the pond is a lovely and critical habitat for not just beavers, but birds, insects, amphibians and other mammals like muskrat. This is only one small part of what the beavers have made.
And then, closer to the road and the car, I found this little beauty making its way across the trail. I got pretty close and it just stood its ground. Then I backed off with a little goodbye and let it go on its way. In the following days it got pretty cold and by this writing has probably burrowed its way below the frost line to while away the winter.
Another perfect day in the woods with some water and some critters. Lately I’ve been wondering if this blog is too same-y. If my posts and subjects aren’t diverse enough to be continually interesting. I wonder if I should branch out and try new subjects or techniques, and someday I might (I’ve been musing on adding artificial light to my work), but for now this just keeps fascinating me. So, is it boring? Is it too much of the same type of thing over and over? I don’t know. It’s where I live. It’s what I do. It’s what keeps me outdoors, camera in hand, waiting for the next magical moment.