Sunday, November 2, 2008

Few Birds, But What a Tree

We spent a brief hour at the Wissahickon today, looking for birds, but also enjoying the brilliant colors of fall. Birds were incredibly scarce. We saw only two, a Hairy Woodpecker and a Red-tailed Hawk. But it was still great to be out on a beautiful day with most leaves still retaining their full color.

I think that oaks might very well be our favorite tree. In spring most of the early migrants, especially warblers, can be found at the top of oaks, nibbling the caterpillars that are themselves eating the tender emerging leaves of the oaks. But now in fall their strong colors are the high point. That is until you look up and see the incredible design that the limbs seem to create. I had to choose between a photo that accentuates the color of the leaves and one that shows the beautiful and strong design of the trunk and branches. As you see I just had to go with the trunk and branches.


Anonymous said...

Great shot, Ken!! I love the dark powerful trunk and branches against the leaves. Beautiful.

Do you see many red-tails over there? We have our local residents in Central park! They've been living above Fifth Avenue for years now. I think they might be 3rd generations now.

Ken Januski said...

Hi artmodel,

I'm happy that you like the photo and that it strikes you as much as it did me. I used to have a teacher who would drive around in the winter and draw trees from his car. He could see their structure much better then. I'd admired him for going out in the cold of a New England winter drawing a subject he loved: trees.

Red-tails are fairly common here. In fact I always have to be very careful driving to work. I see one in the sky about every 3-5 days and can't resist looking, just to make sure it's a red-tail and not something more exotic. But I also don't want to get into an accident so I have to take the briefest of looks! I guess that's the virtue of taking public transportation: you can bird-watch safely....