Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Appalachian April (Roundtop Mtn. version)
Last night, as I was trying to go to sleep, one of the local red foxes started barking not far from the cabin. He or she was trying to locate its mate, and their hoarse barks that carry over long distances are how they do that. The pair don’t always hunt together, and even when they do they can get separated, so the barking is simply how they reestablish contact. The sound is a common occurrence at the cabin. However, whenever the foxes bark, so do Dog and Baby Dog.

I don’t know if my two dogs view the fox’s barking as coming from a fellow canine or not. Certainly, they see the barking as a dangerous interloper caused by a creature that is too close to the cabin for their comfort. And so they bark.

Later on during the night, I was awakened on two separate occasions, hours apart, by single, bright flashes of lightning, each followed by a single rumble of thunder. This morning, nothing was left of the mini-thunderstorms except for a partially cloudy sky. The cloud cover was the kind that made me think the sunrise might be especially nice or at least create an attractive light for a morning photograph. A good sunrise needs some clouds to make it interesting. To my disappointment, the clouds did not produce a pretty sunrise, and indeed the light stayed flat all during the early morning.

So at the last second I headed into the woods to see what else I could find to photograph. The forest is pretty in the early spring, though the flat morning light didn’t help it very much. The trees are starting to look fuzzy, and the understory is already somewhat leafed out. The redbud trees are still red, though the white dogwood flowers haven’t yet arrived.

I did find a few small plants of our native wild violet, a delicate flower that seems more pansy-like than a relative of the houseplant violet. In this area the deep purple flower is the most common shade. Violets like moisture, and don't mind a few stones, either. The plant is native throughout most of North America, though the color varies from purple to yellow to white, depending on the region.

It’s a shame the light wasn’t more cooperative this morning, but that’s how it goes sometimes. If I only took photos when the light was just so, I’d take precious few of them. I have to take the bad light with the good light. Nature keeps her own agenda in all things.


Cathy said...

Now there's something I would love to photograph, a fox. However my chance of getting them are slim. You had a trouble with the light and I had trouble with the wind today. I took only 4 picture for today's walk. I don't think they came out great.

Cynthia M. said...

You're a bit further along in spring foliage than we are here in northern MA. I love the colors in your first photo - that soft spring green is one of my favorites.

We have wild violets all over our property - parts of our "lawn" are carpeted with them (where it's not overrun with clover, hawkweeds and plantain, that is). I always admire how beautiful they are, but haven't thought to photograph them. I'll give it a try when they emerge.