Travel Theme: Foliage

Ailsa, at Where’smybackpack, has given bloggers a new challenge:  Travel Theme – Foliage. Anyone who knows me, knows I love all things botanical. I must have close to a thousand images of foliage of one kind or another, so I’m going to restrict my offerings to foliage seen while traveling – but you’ll see that restriction still permits quite a bit of latitude.

A yucca plant in Colt’s Neck, NJ, a township in rural Monmouth County.  Love those curls!

Sensitive fern on the Buffalo River in the Ozarks, in northern Arkansas. The Buffalo River “flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining un-dammed rivers in the lower 48 states.”  The National Park Service warns visitors not to rely on GPS in this remote area, but to use Arkansas road maps. Remember road maps? Flooding caused some of these leaves to be covered in mud; later, new leaves grew among the old.

On the edge of a parking lot in Fort Myers, Florida, tropical foliage is torn and caught on a bamboo stalk.

This old home on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington, is almost invisable under layers of moss, bushes, weeds and trees.

More rampant foliage takes over another overgrown roadside attraction – an old tobacco barn in rural Duplin County, North Carolina.

Foliage of a completely different sort – a Tillandsia – an “air plant” that grows by anchoring its roots in tree branches for support while its leaves absorb nutrients and water from the air.  When I placed it on a map of the area where I found it, its leaves seemed to echo the roadway lines.

Undersea foliage: kelp and a bull whip plant lie on a beach on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Western Hemlocks, their foliage drained of color in the gloom of the forest, tower over Lodge Lake Trail in the  Snoqualmie National Forest, in northern Washington state.

You can find more bloggers’ foliage photos at:

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/28/travel-theme-foliage/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far

At the beach – it’s where near and far intertwine. Walking on the beach, the broad view envelops me and the close-up obsesses me. Back and forth, back and forth between dazzling intricacies of  tiny shells, rocks and littoral animals, and the equally dazzling dance of water and light on the horizon.

Starfish, shells and beachcombers on Sanibel Island on Florida’s west coast.

Another winter beach, a colder latitude: Whidbey Island, Washington. Giant bullwhip kelp washes up at Ebey’s Landing as a gull wings across the cold bay.

On this June day my job in New York City had taken me to a home care agency on Long Island’s southern shore. After investigating and interviewing all day, I took off for nearby Fire Island. I put in long hours and traveled many miles on that job, but often, at the end of the day, I was happy to skip dinner and explore. It was worth it.

They grow kelp big in the Pacific! Camano Island, Washington.

Distant sea stacks seen through driftwood at La Push, Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Selenium style processing in Lightroom.

A beach of a different sort: on the industrial north shore of New York City’s Staten Island, railroad tracks curve out of view towards the Bayonne Bridge. Built in 1931, it’s one of the longest steel arch bridges in the world, but it won’t be tall enough for mammoth container ships that the widening of the Panama Canal will bring to the port. The plan is to build a new roadway higher up within the existing arch, then tear down the old road. Somehow I doubt the view from this spot will change much – the city is full of forgotten corners with compelling views that haven’t changed in decades. From many of these forgotten corners, the close-up view is of garbage and detritus, but look in the distance and there’s gold.