20160527 Foggy morning greets Hairys.

We were out and about early in the morning to greet a very soft day.  I always like to get the camera out on a foggy day to catch the soft light, the 3 dimensional effects, and the micro textures.   We were also blessed with our first observations of the new family of Hairy Woodpeckers.

First, some local scenery, taken with the FZ1000 camera:

Still River near the “Subdivision”.


Still River near the Legion ….


The “acid dock” taken from ET’s dock.


A barn swallow on the net thingamabob on ET’s shoal boat.  Not bad for the FZ1000 camera.


The rest of these were taken with the GH4 camera and the Panasonic-Leica 100-400 mm lens.

The most important realization is that 100% relative humidity, fog, causes very small water droplets to form on pretty well everything.  The size that the droplet eventually becomes seems to depend on wind, and the geometry of the surface, with hairs and sharp edges being the most interesting.

A vetch holding hands …


Tent caterpillars on a pin cherry showing droplets of water on their bristles …


And when you look closely you can see the huge amount of spider webbing on all of the plants in the forest.  This ant was walking gingerly, avoiding the inner parts of the bracken fern …


Pin cherry blossom enhanced by fine droplets of water …


Note the fine drops on the seed parachutes of this dandelion:


No, not a blueberry (Vaccinium Spp) but a huckleberry (Gaylussacia dumosa).    The famous Monsieur  Gay-Lussac certainly got around!


Here is the much more common blueberry:


The velvety, hairy leaf of a  Mullein holds  lots of water, leading to some speculation about the role of leaf hairs in holding water in arid regions.   Click on the photo to see the density of water droplets.


Sparkling wild strawberry leaf shortly after the fog had lifted.


I stopped to look for life in the Hairy Woodpecker nest hole that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Wonderful!   I could hear cheep cheep cheeps.   So I waited around for mom or dad to arrive with food.   I was rewarded a few times when both parents arrived and swiftly placed bugs and caterpillars directly into the mouths of the hatchlings.  That is a HUGE beak on that lil birdie!



Mom arriving with a caterpillar:


Dad has just delivered his morsel.


And finally, the petals of the Columbines seemed to be refreshed by the moisture.


Lessons learned:

  • In addition to listening for Warblers I will listen for the cheep cheep of youngsters.   I might be lucky enough to see a parent delivering food.  A very nice experience.
  • I will take advantage of fog not only to give soft light and 3-dimensionality but also to give increased texture to our micro-world.

Always something for an old doggie learning new tricks, eh?