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Old Mar 24, 2011, 6:47 AM   #1
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Default Just a few more early blooms

Out on the trails a lot lately, repairing damage from recent heavy storms, and getting ready for the busy spring hiking season. Also taking time to notice what's coming into bloom. It's been an early and abundant season for the blooming things - a combination of very wet winter, and early arrival of warm weather. For example, we usually see just one or two Bloodroot blooms in one location. Here's how they are blooming this year:
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 6:48 AM   #2
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Coltsfoot is named for the leaves, supposed to resemble a colts' foot! Flowers are somewhat reminiscent of dandelions (as are the seeds). This year we are also seeing these bright blooms in abundant groups.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 6:53 AM   #3
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One of the tiniest members of the violet family has suddenly burst into bloom across the damp meadows. Here are a vew very close views of Field Pansy (first taken with Sigma 105 macro at 1:1, other two with sigma macro at 1:1 and with Raynox close-up lens added on). I often tell children that these are like "McNectar" - the bright color is the "golden arches" for the bees and such - it's advertisement from a distance. The purplish lines are the "drive through" ("buzz through") signs to help bees know which way to enter for their "nectar burger."
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 6:57 AM   #4
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About a week or two ago, I posted some photos of Twinleaf buds just sprouting. Well, they are now in full bloom! Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) blooms only last about a day or so, and soon will become very odd-looking seed pods.

PS - the last three shots are almost identical, just different DOF. Which do you prefer?
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 6:59 AM   #5
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Have recently posted several shots of our overwintering butterflies (angle wings & mourning cloaks) that spend the winter as adults, and come out even on warm winter days. But was excited to see some of the newly emerged springtime butterflies out! These are West Virginai Whites - a rather rare species that is now busily searching out it's caterpillars favorite host plant, toothwort.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 7:02 AM   #6
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Hope you enjoyed this little early spring bouquet, and hoping to see you "out on the trail" soon! Thanks for any comments & critique!
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 7:20 PM   #7
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Love the butterflies, and your description of the violet was very interesting (never thought about why they would be colored that way). As far as your twinleaf pictures - I like the last one (shot at f8). In general I prefer my flowers completely in focus with the background as soft/blurry as you can get it. I think the f8 one did the best balancing act. The first one at f5.6 is very nice, some people might prefer it as having more "mood", and the background of the f11 one isn't yet distracting, so all 3 are in the "acceptable" category. It's just that I prefer the f8 one.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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All great.....but Pix # 1 I really like.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 6:23 AM   #9
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Field Pansy - what an interesting brief on the reasons for the colouration, I'll be looking out for that on other flowers now.

Twinleaf - prefer #2 of the 3 similar shots. More of the flower is in focus and I am assuming that education not art is the premise for the post (otherwise it would be #3) !
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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Harriet - Thanks for the helpful & specific feedback - a big help!

Les - So glad you enjoyed them!

Kevin - Just to add to the story, remember that bees can also see ultraviolet, so some of those lines (called "nectar guides") are invisible to us, but great "signposts" for the pollinators. Thanks for your help with the Twinleaf pics.
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