We had a few inches of heavy snow Thursday night – with temperatures above zero in the foreseeable future it’ll likely be gone within a few days but this morning it’s still there. You can see lots of small footprints in the snow – many more than in previous weeks, so I’m thinking a lot of critters have come out of hibernation and are looking for food (aka spring bulbs…) to munch on. The woodpeckers are hard at it as well, we can hear them all day, and there seems to be plenty of bugs in the dead or dying trees around us.
I asked an experienced nature photographer, Bill Johnson, if he had any tips on shooting in the winter, when all is snow covered and rather bleak looking. He said try black and white, so I have.
Here’s my Six on Saturday, with thanks to The Propagator for this theme idea.
One of my favourite trees is the Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera). Although some people give it a pass, saying it’s ‘messy’ or ‘short lived’ or ‘disease prone’ I say “Who Cares?” Just look at the gorgeous white bark, and marvel at how layers will peels off, only to reveal a new surface even more brilliant than the last.
I especially like to watch as young trees, with grey brown bark that makes them very similar in appearance to other Betula, start to turn white. You can see in this photo the trunk on the left is still quite dark, while the larger trunk in front, older perhaps by just a year, is revealing its bright mature colour.
Yes, in our (relatively) warm County it may live only 30 to 40 years, that’s quite possibly longer than I’ll be around! And it may get attacked by one bug or another – but very few trees these days are resistant to all insects. And it may indeed shed twigs and, gasp, leaves in fall. But really, who cares?