Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Apple Blossom Beauty

The cherry tree bloomed early and profusely, promising perhaps the second big cherry crop I've seen since I moved to the farm. The blossoms almost hid the farm sign:

About ten days later, all the apple trees burst into bloom on the same morning:

I was thrilled, walking from tree to tree in the orchard, looking for differences in the flowers. Notice the cattle, clustered together under a Box Elder tree in the background:

The tree in the foreground produces huge crops every year:

My trees have less pink in them than some apples, so I like to snap a picture when I see a particularly pink set of blossoms:

All in all, a glorious display. It's over quickly, though, which is all the more reason to exult in it while it lasts:

More pink tinged flowers:

I was standing inside the pasture when I shot this photo of the apple orchard, with my house and car in the background:

There are two nice trees, probably wild seedlings, on the other side of the house - and they too were blooming wildly:

These two trees may be wild seeded, but they produce abundant and tasty crops:

I knew that this exuberant exhibition would soon be over, so I spent the morning taking pictures:

This is one of the wild seeded trees, arching out over the road and the Amish "Horse Shoeing" sign. It drops apples everywhere in early autumn:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy Dogs At Clear Pond - Part 2

The dogs and I were enjoying the scenic beauty of Clear Pond in the White Hill Wild Forest (see also Part 1, posted yesterday). Seamus was also enjoying the chilly water:

I was photographing wildflowers, and Jack came over to "help" me with this Red Trillium:

In spite of the black flies, it was a quiet and serene experience:

We walked back into the woods and picked up the hiking trail:

But soon walked back down to the pond:

Seamus went into the water once again, but the other dogs were careful to stay dry:

But it was time to return to our car, so once again we hit the trail:

I stopped at an old house foundation:

There was also a very large concrete foundation. I've heard that this was once a Boy Scout camp. There was an entryway under the floor slab which some wild animal had been using. I was worried that my dogs might try to go in there, but they wisely chose not to:

Before we left, we stopped at the brook which carried the runoff from Clear Pond. It too was scenic:

Seamus trotted across the brook as if it wasn't even there, but Daphne and Clover weren't so sure about crossing it;

Eventually Daphne, Clover, Fergus and Seamus crossed the brook, though Jack and I walked around and used the bridge:

Soon we were back at our little red car and on our way home:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Dogs At Clear Pond - Part 1

We arrived at the White Hill Wild Forest and walked immediately down to the edge of Clear Pond. It is, after all, a major attraction in this forest preserve:

And the dogs loved it, though only Seamus went in:

And he really did go in, splashing around and having a grand time:

Clover stayed on land, exploring the work of local beavers:

We had the entire forest to ourselves, so I let the dogs run and play to their hearts' content. I was in no mood to holler at them:

Jack went down to check out the water but was careful to keep his feet dry:

Happy dogs:

Daphne wove her way through the stumps which beavers had left behind:

And we worked our way along the water's edge:

The scenery here is so wild and beautiful that it's always a joy to visit. On this day, however, swarms of black flies did their best to dampen my spirits:

We ventured back into the forest sometimes, only to return to Clear Pond:

Like me, the dogs seemed happiest when they were at the water's edge:

Clover and Daphne climbed up on a big rock for a better view, and then we continued on our way. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spring Flora White Hill Wild Forest - Part 2

I was walking around Clear Pond with the dogs and photographing whatever spring flowers I could find. I saw lots of Hobblebush, which often looked as if it was artfully arranged by a professional landscaper:

 Painted Trillium:

I couldn't identify this Violet, but perhaps it was a Broad-Leafed Wood Violet:

 Red Trillium:

 Trout Lilies were up but not yet in bloom:

I guessed these to be emerging Canada Mayflowers. Everything is so late this year that we may want to rename them Canada June-flower:

 Painted Trillium:

 Red Trillium:

 Coltsfoot is usually the first flower of all, and to find it so late in the season was confirmation to me that spring was much delayed this year:

 Red Trilliums:

We were on our way out when I saw patch of Marsh Marigolds, with a State Forest sign in front of them. Tomorrow I'll post about the dogs and their happy romp along the edge of Clear Pond:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Spring Flora White Hill Wild Forest - Part 1

I took the dogs to the White Hill Wild Forest and walked around Clear Pond one day, but took so many photos that I separated them into dog pictures and plant pictures. These are the latter, and the first photo is of Leatherleaf in bloom along the shoreline of Clear Pond:

 There didn't seem to be many flowers blooming, but the Red Maple leaves unfurling sparkled in the sun and were as pretty as any flower:

  Violets are hard to identify but I guessed that these  were Northern White Violets. They were very tiny:

 An unknown Moss. I searched Google for an ID, but finally gave up:

 Wild Strawberries, of course. They were blooming everywhere:

 Blue Flag, our Wild Iris:

 Tree Club Moss, or Princess Pine:

Viburnum lantanoides, or Hobblebush. I included the Latin name because I found the plant so difficult to find online and it wasn't in my wildflower field guide:

 A closeup of Viburnum lantanoides or Hobblebush:

 Painted Trillium:

 Pillow Moss:

 Running Club Moss, sometimes called Running Ground Pine. But there was more to see, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow: