Today we have photos from Rik Gern of Austin, Texas. His captions are indented and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
I recently traveled for the first time since the covid outbreak and spent a week in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. I didn’t bring home a t-shirt, but here are a handful of pictures to submit for consideration for your Reader’s Wildlife Pictures feature.
Coming in from Texas, one of the first things that struck me is that the tall pines put the lie to the boast that “everything’s bigger in Texas”! The trees that made the biggest impression on me were red (Pinus resinosa) and white (Pinus strobus) pines and the balsam fir (Abies balsamea). Unfortunately, I don’t know the identities of the trees with the bare branches, but I like the way they look.
There is typically snow that far north this time of year, but the week I was there saw only a few days of light snow which melted after about 48 hours. You can see how beautiful the forest is with even a soft dusting of snow.
Light snow in the northwoods. There are white pines on the left and balsam fir in the middle.
Snowy Wisconsin lake:
Looking up at the pines helps to differentiate the white from the red pines. The red pine coming up from the left has needles that form in starburst clusters and has a distinctive crusty looking bark tinged with red, while the white pine coming up from the bottom has branches that sort of pancake out.
Young trees ready for the sun.
The area is dotted with small lakes, and the bulk of these pictures were taken on a small peninsula on one of those lakes. The reflections on the water give everything a magical look, and even the rotting tree stumps seem to have kind of a grandeur about them; if I squint my eyes they make me think of ancient crumbling castles.
Boat by the lake:
Morning sky reflected in the water:
Tree stump and pine needles:
Tree stump, moss, and pine needles:
This was taken on the west side of the peninsula just before the sun rose above the tree line.
Just around the corner from the previous picture, it’s the east side of the peninsula and taken a few minutes later, just after the sun topped the trees.
I’m not the all-around cat lover that you are, but when I find one I like, I really fall for it, and I just love my Mom’s little cat, Bella; she’s a gentle little sweetheart! Along with a visit to see my mother and the beautiful scenery, Bella was a huge highlight!
Here she is looking out a window and another picture where she looks kind of ominous, but in reality is just perched to see out the front door.