Magnolia fuzz

The magnolia, a common sight throught the southern United States, is one of the most wonderfully strange trees that I know of.  Originating at around 95 million years ago, the plant is a true survivor.  The immense, fragrant, white flowers attract pollinating insects to keep them reproducing.  I can attest to how quickly they spread and grow by how they sprout up in my yard all the time!

This is a close-up of one of the “fruits” or seed-pods that I most often see as the spent, brown husks that fall to the ground.  You can see in this macro view, that they start off looking like a peach.  There is fuzz on the outside covering and it is colored in reds and yellows.  I assume this is again, a strategy to attract birds and insects to come get the seeds and spread these around.  Obviously, from the age of this line of plants, they have been very successful in this strategy for continuation of the species.  For this, I am glad!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 – 1/3 sec – ISO 200

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Feathery seed has staying power

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a nice balance of natural and man-made beauty.  In the winter season, the color of the decorative plants is gone but the spent blooms and withered branches remain.  It is one of those cases where you have to look for the beauty rather than having it burst out in front of you.

This is an interesting seed head that I spotted along one of the walks.  It is not a dandelion but has a similar white, feathery look.  I love how the seeds come together at the top of the branch and the fine tendrils drop down from them with their downy covering.  It seems quite amazing to me that these have not dropped off and spread in the wind at this point but I must say, I am glad that it was here for me to see.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f13 –  1/25 sec – ISO 200

Winter gum balls

Even though there was not much snow in our big winter storm this past weekend, there was a nice white background to set bits of nature that are still visible.  This is one of those things that I find interesting but also kind of hate.  The Sweet-gum trees in my yard always have these spiky little seed pods in the fall.  sweetgum-warning1

Neat to look at but when they fall all over the
yard, they are a pain!  (That can be literally, if
you step on them.)  I wouldn’t mind so much except that they seem to collect and never go away.  I often try to rake them up but that is no easy task.  They tend to get embedded in the grass or ground and do their best to hang on to wherever they fall.  I suppose they will get hacked up by the lawnmower eventually but of course, they will probably break something in the process as the little projectiles are pretty dangerous.

Oh well, I guess we just have to take nature for what it is and be careful when walking barefoot.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/7.1 –  1/20 sec – ISO 200

Helicopters

2017 has certainly started out with some weather that is tough to find photographic inspiration out of!  It has been anywhere from dark and dreary to foggy to dripping wet from rain.  Still, there are always things to see if you look for them.  This image shows a few Maple tree seeds (helicopters) still hanging on in the winter.

We went out to explore the newest addition to the River Walk along the Chattahoochee on Monday.  There is a beautiful board walk that cuts the corner from Riverside Drive to Wileo Road.  The walk crosses over the wetlands that sit on that corner and are populated by many geese, ducks and other birds.  You can park along Riverside Drive at the play area and walk across to the opposite end just across from the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

It was a bit wet and raw when we took our walk but well worth it.  I will have to make a regular trip out here as there is also an eagles nest at the Nature Center.  We heard the eagles calling but have not seen them yet so, I will keep trying.

Roswell River Walk
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 –  1/100 sec – ISO 400

Tree Seeds

I found these seed pods and seeds on a walkway next to Bulloch Hall in Roswell.  I think this is from a cypress tree but I’m not definitely sure on that.

I was really attracted by the spiky exterior of the seed pod and then I saw the seeds themselves as they had been scattered when the pod bust open.  I brought a few home to do a little macro work and capture this detail of nature.  To give you an idea of size on this, one of the fully-opened seed pods is about the size of a penny.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/18 –  1/3 sec – ISO 100