Yay! It’s Earth Day!

red-bellied woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus launching itself from treeWelcome to Earth Day! I hope you get the chance to either go out and enjoy the natural (less human-affected) parts of our planet, or do something environmentally beneficial. I personally am going to have the chance to do neither, but I at least get the first option in fairly often, so we’ll go with some recent examples of that as eye-candy.

I was out with a student and wasn’t lugging around the long lens when this red-bellied woodpecker (which do not have red bellies, but the name red-headed woodpecker was already taken by one that is admittedly more fitting of the moniker, so we’ll just pretend the belly is red and anyway it’s a Melanerpes carolinus,) was peeking out from either side of a trunk just a bit too far off for good results from the Mamiya 80mm, before taking flight towards a more promising tree – I didn’t intend to capture this particular moment but I’ll take credit for my expertise anyway, and can I make this sentence just a wee bit longer?

Actually, several of these images are coming from outings with students, generally casual captures that I grabbed while they were working on their own compositions. This is one from two days back, a cluster of mountain laurel flowers (Kalmia latifolia) in various stages.

mountain laurel Kalmia latifolia beginning to bloom
I really could have done without that red stem down in the lower left, but whatcha gonna do? I mean, besides hacking the thing off, and that’s not very EarthDaylike, is it?

The following morning, which means yesterday based on the posting date but this morning as I type this, I would say Earth day eve except it wasn’t evening and Earth Day morn refers to actual Earth Day and not the day before so I don’t know what to call it for convenience, I was out trying for the sunrise, which as you might be able to tell from the sky and water reflections, really didn’t produce any notable colors.

weak sunrise shot
The sun was just high enough to shine through a gap in the trees I was standing within, providing a good example of natural light coloration – yellow for the sunlight portion at mid frame, but distinctly blue for the deep shade at the bottom. It was even more noticeable than this, but I tweaked it for fartistic effect. No, it’s not going to be in the Guggenheim anytime soon, I’m well aware of that, thank you for reminding me…

unidentified orb spider in web with backlighting and refraction
I don’t know what kind of spider this is, but I couldn’t go this long without putting up a spider pic – I was starting to hear those little voices again, you know? Anyway, this was from another student outing (I think the same as the woodpecker,) snatching the opportunity of backlighting and refraction off the web strands. I could have done without that tiny bright leaf trapped in the web though (I suppose we’ll just go over my failings for Earth Day, not like that distinguishes it from any other posting day.)

unidentified flowers in deep shade
Another student outing (I’ve been busy this past couple of weeks,) another moment of opportunity. I don’t know what these are (eye-candy, remember?) but they’re pink. I don’t care what you might want to call them – women, I’m looking at you – they’re just pink. We don’t need so many words for colors. Just use the RGB values if you want to differentiate so badly.

And finally, a Canada goose family (Branta canadensis) hanging out on the same sunrise day – so, yesterday/not yesterday. I happen to like the gosling’s apparent preoccupation with its foot – it’s like when younger children get new shoes and keep sticking their feet out to examine them. I mean, I still do this, but it’s only to see how filthy my feet have gotten in the water sandals. You probably didn’t need to know that…

Canada goose Branta canandensis family on pond shore