Thursday, January 11, 2007

Acorns Aplenty

I've written before about the wonderful world of acorn woodpeckers. Pockmarked trees. Gossip groups. But I didn't believe my little Sony was capable of capturing a close-up of their acorns studding the bark of a pine tree. Until Tuesday when I did my first real walk since Christmas. The light on a big, nearby ponderosa looked right and it had a good supply of acorns, so I decided to test the camera's special close-up setting.

Lo and behold. Not only do the acorns show up nicely, but the bark patterns are also very cool.

The only problem: it's difficult to show how deeply the acorns are embedded. I need more shadows for that task. Examining the nuts and the bark, I wonder just how the bark is created and how the layers decide when to peel off. However it happens, the acorns appear to stay in place, merely getting deeper as the bark thickens. At least those which aren't too loose or eaten by a hungry woodpecker (or a clever raven.) Some must remain in the bark for years!

FYI: Firefly Forest, down in Tucson, caught neat pictures of a female acorn woodpecker close-up. Take a look here.

13 comments:

Kate said...

Very nice pics, ma!

Steve G said...

Now that was an education. I wasn't aware of this, but it's amazing how some of the trees can have so many acorn holes pecked into them. Great shots and information.

Granny J said...

Thank you both for the good words! I too am pleased to discover that I can get in that close with the little digital camera. So...anticipate more semi-macro photography, guys!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi. Steve pointed out your site so I came over and I love it. The photos are just fantastic. I'll be visiting again!

Granny J said...

Welcome, Ms. welshcakes limoncello. Hope I can live up to your initial impression! And I'll be visiting Sicily before the day is out.

Lee said...

Wonderful pics...and equally wonderful post. Steve g...directed me here...and I'm glad he did. :)

Granny J said...

Aside from my bro who lives at the end of the earth way west of you in Perth, Lee, I've few visitors from OZ. Welcome-- and visit often!

Cindy said...

Eeee! That first picture looks like 2 eyes peering out from inside the tree!

Ballpoint Wren said...

I'm here from Steve G's blog, and I found this post fascinating! I'd never heard of acorn woodpeckers before but followed your links and read up on them.

Your photographs are wonderful.

Granny J said...

Cindy -- you're right about those "eyes"! Next time, I'll rotate the pic a bit & scare you even more...

Ms. Wren -- you'll find these great woodpeckers in Calif. and AZ -- just look for woodlands with plenty of oaks.

Liz said...

Wow, they're amazing photos. Trees are so beautiful.

Like most people, I found my way here from steve g's blog!

kimmus122 said...

Wow. I see what you mean now. I never knew...amazing.

Granny J said...

kim -- my first experience was with a limb from a pine tree that friends had saved; it was literally studded with acorns. A totally freaking amazing sight.

 
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