Tuesday, January 29, 2008

an old acquaintance

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.
--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) author and philosopher

This photo is of an old, snow-covered hemlock tree in Rock Creek Park outside of Erwin, TN which is threatened with infestation of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. If you haven't heard of this tiny critter or how all Eastern and Carolina Hemlocks in the eastern US from Georgia to Maine are threatened, click here and here. I am now much more aware of the beautiful hemlocks I come across while trekking across our region and can't imagine how completely devastated our forests would be if they were to be lost.

This shot might not seem very technically difficult, but it took a lot of technology to produce! It was taken with the camera handheld at 150mm for 1/2 sec. just before sunset (dark conditions) with a VR (vibration reduction) lens (called IS or Image Stabilization in Canon-speak). VR is essential for people with shaky hands like me - it has saved hundreds of shots that I would have missed otherwise. I'm always amazed when it clicks on and I can see the image stabilize within the viewfinder. Woo Hoo VR!

Photo info: Nikon D80, f/5.6 150mm, 1/2 sec., ISO 200.

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