“Sunlit Beeches”

“Snow melts, revealing it’s winter captives. Slowly, the forest floor emerges from the icy shell; the beeches are there to greet the soil with their brightness.” – Ed Lehming

Here’s another image from a few days ago when temperatures soared to 17C and the grip of winter began to loosen. With the warm air and strong winds, even the deepest recesses of the forest felt the touch of spring.

I had headed out to get my final few snow-filled winter photos before the warmth turned everything to gray mush. Surprisingly, given the mild temperatures, very few people were out on the trails. I imagine the ever-present dog walkers were concerned about the slush and mud their four-legged friends would track into their vehicles after a foray into the woods, but I was really expecting to see more people enjoying the weather.

Hiking was a bit of a challenge as the warm air had turned the previously hard packed trails to a mix to crunchy snow and mush, so each step was a step, crunch, and sink event; something that took a bit of getting used to. The ice that I was expecting was pretty much gone, though I wore my ice cleats just to be certain; I’ve had a few unexpected tumbles over the years, so I don’t take any chances anymore.

The ever-present winter beeches were still in abundance, though I did notice that the spring ‘fade’ is underway and there are not very many left with the nice, deep, copper colouring. This specimen had lovely golden leaves and stood nestled between the pines just off the trail that I had chosen. Sunlight was touch and go as the clouds raced by above me. I caught this one at just the right time to show off it’s bright leaves, which, if you look closely, are starting to show spots and signs of decay. Their time will soon be past and new growth of bright green will replace them by mid-May.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 24-70 mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 40 mm
1/125 sec, f/20, ISO 400

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