Stills V3

March 15, 2009

Trees for the Woodpeckers

Filed under: Christina — Christina @ 19:16

Lightsey Ranch/Polk County



  1. A bit of an oh wow moment on opening this. The sense of desolation is slightly reduced by the wire fence but a strong feeling of catastrophe still comes through. Beautiful light, sky and shadows. (No birds?!)

    Nora and I did a marked walk at Glen Affric where there were lots of information signs. At one they explained about dead trees being used by woodpeckers. There was also an explanation that pine martens sometimes took over woodpecker holes. We had a pine marten that came and fed at our cabin, we thought it was cute until we met a lady who said one killed all her chickens!

    Comment by Rex — March 15, 2009 @ 20:49

  2. All this builds to that touch of deep blue sky along the top edge of the frame. Beautiful.

    Comment by matt — March 16, 2009 @ 12:39

  3. I wonder what finished these trees off as the row on the horizon looks healthy enough. I don’t get straight desolation as such: more, another ecological mystery to be analysed along with a growing list. The evening/morning light only serves to confuse more.

    Comment by John Ellis — March 17, 2009 @ 07:52

  4. John — although I don’t know what killed the pines here, this area of central Florida was hard hit by hurricanes in 2004. Most of them appear to have been “topped”, so that would be my first guess.

    The trees in the background look (with one exception) like oaks, which would be less likely to die from wind damage if they were not completely blown over. (I’ve even seen oaks that were blown over survive).

    What I do know is that this stand of dead trees is very attractive and useful to wildlife.

    Comment by Christina — March 18, 2009 @ 04:12

  5. Rex – a pine marten has been known to kill a sheep. This was observed because the sheep fell on the pm and crushed it.

    Doesn’t stop them looking cute though. Just don’t mention them to farmers.

    Comment by Colin — March 18, 2009 @ 17:14

  6. The scene had loads of potential. I’m interested in how you’ve worked that potential. For instance, I think a lot of photographers would have excluded the fence. The photo is way better with the fence.

    Beautiful. And potentially a signature image.

    Comment by Colin — March 18, 2009 @ 17:28

  7. Compelling. The vibrant light bathing the stark shapes is powerful.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — March 18, 2009 @ 17:55

  8. Colin — Stan and I have been to this site four times now — the main purpose was to photograph a shy Red-headed Woodpecker that frequents the trees:

    Each time the overall scene has attracted me, so I’ve taken wide angle photos from different angles and vantage points, with and without the fence, with and without cows in the field, and usually in late afternoon/early evening light. Of the ones I saved, this was one that stood out for me, though I have others I might process, too. (And I may well take some more in the future).

    It is always gratifying for me to get positive comments on landscapes here, since I don’t have as much confidence in them the way I do with macro and wildlife images. I think Stills has inspired me to try more and improve — so thanks to all of you for that.

    Comment by Christina — March 19, 2009 @ 05:05

  9. That these trees are good for woodpeckers is great (our electricity pole in the front of the house attracted a woodpecker last year, which was a good indicator that the pole was on its last legs!). However, I never find areas with dying/dead trees (other than natural collapse and degeneration in a deciduous wood) attractive as there is almost invariably something malign at play: dutch elm disease in the ’80s in UK and acid rain affecting conifers in the ’70s/early ’80s being two major examples close to home. That they can provide interesting photos is without doubt but solely as objects of beauty? There I am less certain and, as ever, any discussion about the inter-relationship man and nature becomes complex.

    Currently we have an oak-attacking virus at work, but that is another story.

    Comment by John Ellis — March 19, 2009 @ 08:00

  10. When trees die or are cut down I always wonder where the new growth is, when will it sprout from the ground, will it get a chance or will cows/sheep/goats eat the saplings before they get a chance to grow.

    In the suburbs trees come down and don’t get replaced.

    The shadows here look liek they have been created by a stand of trees behind you, is that right?

    The contrasts of blue and gold always attracts me so I am glad to have this scene infornt of me.

    Comment by Robert Hoehne — March 22, 2009 @ 03:55

  11. I’ll add another beautiful to this. The fence along the front does cut a few trunks but I can live with that given the whole.

    Comment by akikana — March 23, 2009 @ 12:20

  12. I always love the shapes of dead tress. Odd, I know. I like the way the colours of light work here, and the various stands of the trees. Fence works for me, apart from that brightly lit bit centre frame, which I find distracting.

    Comment by doonster — March 24, 2009 @ 20:02

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