Meteorologists said that we will see no snow here this winter. I think this is the first winter we have had no snow at all. I dislike snow shoveling but I missed the winter season in the woods. January and February have been very warm. The spring season this year will be very interesting.
I think most people would not think that the picture of the forest path was taken in February. To me it looks almost like summer if there were not spots of autumn leave colors. I come to this place very often it is a path on the dam of an ancient cloister pond (Hohenacker,Maulbronn) for fish breeding. I took this image with a 200 mm zoom lens. The ground is churned by wild boar and with the mild weather the already very high population will grow even faster. Some local birds have started to sing here and there and the woodpeckers are very busy.
Medieval fish breeding pond,Hohenacker
Crocus and snowdrops are blooming since end of last week in the gardens . The famous Crocus blooming at the village of Bad Teinach Zavelstein (black Forest) usually starts mid March (see this image)but this year it has begun almost 3 weeks earlier. (Link ,German,to Crocus blooming Zavelstein) At Zavelstein visitors can see impressive carpets of Crocus blooming every year (link to a FLICKR set
I enjoy exploring the woods with the camera(s) these days. The again broken Iphone was replaced with a Fuji x20 camera with a nice macro function. It allows to take decent mushroom shots at a distance as small as 1 cm. The autofocus of the x20 is very fast and accurate.
Cropped macro shot of moss on woody debris
Here you van see the strong colors of the Velvia film simulation on a sunny day.
Mushrooms on fallen oak trunk
I am trying hard to improve my photography. Mostly I struggle to get the images of my DSLR sharp enough at low light. I still haven’t found a fully reliable way to get there with my Nikon D90 and the new 55-200 mm lens, which is great value for very reasonable money. I have done test series to find out whether closing down the aperture too much or other causes might be the problem, but haven’t come to final conclusion yet.
I suppose it is a combination of too small aperture and wrong focus, either by autofocus or manual setting. Part of the problem is that I have to focus on the display screen instead of the viewfinder as the camera is very close to the ground. I use the self-timer and the mirror lock-up. The small tripod, an old Cullman magic minipod, could sometimes be part of the problem too. But there has been progress in the past weeks and it is always fun to go out.
My main interest in the woods are woody debris, the mushrooms and mosses on it.
Mycelium of mushroom on woody debris from a spruce tree
Each old tree stump is home of a whole microcosmos with zonal distribution depending on light and moisture. Over the next 12 months I want to visit 2-3 places on a regular basis to study and monitor the seasonal changes on woody debris.