Although we have tropical temperatures at the moment, the forests are inbetween seasons. The first leaves are falling down and after the heavy rain showers of last Sunday mushrooms are growing everywhere. With these extreme temperatures they are growing very quickly and shrinking even faster! Finding them in the afternoon (during a walk with my dog) and photographing them in the evening was an immense challenge!
In the afternoon it seemed very simple to come back in the evening and to catch some of the red russula together with the setting sun. But.....to see a glimpse of the sun through the angle finder I needed to dig a hole as none of the russula was growing 'high' enough. Of course I had no digging equipment with me so my hole was handmade. Dirty hands, dirty clothes and a lot of mosquito bites were not the main problem but the fact that I had put my camera in the sandy hole without checking if the camera connections were safely closed.
With a toothbrush I cleaned the connections and removed the sand as good as I could. I tested the USB-connection and found out that I had catched the first signs of autumn.
Every autumn I'm searching for a nice group of Fly Agarics and almost every autumn I try to photograph them in the dark with passing vehicles.
This year I found a beautiful big group near a busy road in a village not far away; when I returned the same evening all of them were destroyed. I walked around and just at the moment I became desperate, I fortunately found some Fly Agarics near some traffic lights.
The advantage of an urban area is the presence of (orange) light which has the comfort to see what you are doing. The opposite happened when I was photographing a small group near a road in the middle of nowhere. I arrived at sunset and with a shuttertime of 30 seconds and live view I could'nt see anything. I used the level tool in my camera for the correct horizon and waited for some cars.....unfortunately it was not a busy road and I waited a long time.
To be out alone is not always funny as the second evening a car stopped on the wrong side of the road and inspected my car......I was 'hiding' in the dark and very curious I was waiting what would happen.....the car came back and after few hundred meter it stopped again and turned around.....that was the sign for me to run back to my car.
I arranged a personal bodyguard and returned to the same and some other place but although a new mushroom joined the group not much cars were passing that evenings. To get the best stripes three cars in both directions had to pass.
At the moment we have Dutch autumn weather: grey and a bit rainy....I love it!
Exactly one week ago I was walking completely alone in a forest area nearby to search for mushrooms and other autumn subjects. I found a lot of mushrooms but most of them were growing on the forest floor between some grass or too low to 'catch' them decently (as I did not carry a shovel with me). After almost two hours I found a nice one in a tree bark; I loved the curve of the bark and the fact that I could catch a orange/yellow oak in the background.
After some instructions of a friend, I found in an other forest some Collared Earthstars (Geastrum tripex) which I had never seen before. Photographing these stars was a real challenge as they love to grow on messy forest places.
And still I have my weaknesses
Still I have my strength
And still I have my ugliness
But I, I, I
I'll love you just the way you are
I'll have you just the way you are
I'll take you just the way you are
Does anybody love the way they are
Right now nature is transforming fast from summer into autumn and most of the trees already have delightful colours.
Between work and other appointments, I allowed myself two hours to visit an area nearby to search for mushrooms and other autumn signs. I walked around and although a lot of young oaks and brambles were coloured red it took some time before I found a complete young red oak between the brown heather and reed.
Under some old beeches I found a lot of purple Amethyst Deceivers which are one of my favourites mushrooms to photograph (I think because of their colour). Unfortunately the two hours off passed by too quickly.
Wow.....time flies as my former blog is three weeks old. At the moment I'm very busy with my study and the rebuilt of an other website. I did not touch my camera for weeks now!
Meanwhile, outside has changed a lot and without beaufiful autumn colours and leafless trees it's a bit desolated.....so I'm already longing for the spring season!
To remember the scale of autumn colours: a little dragonfly is drying her wings on a fly agaric. This picture is taken some weeks ago at the Lüneburger Heide in Germany.
Again I visited this beautiful area and again I stayed at the St. Georg accommodation which is situated on the hill with a great view and in the middle of hiking paths and beech forest. Again one week was too short!
The weather was varying from cold, wet and stormy weather to summer weather with at least 20 degrees. At arrival a lot of beeches already were coloured yellow and orange and with rain I drove to a small kind of valley where I found a lot of old beeches and where I could look through the forest. With some little creeks this was a beautiful place to photograph; unfortunately the soft rain moved over into a kind of tropical rain shower. I returned a few days later to this place when temperatures were much higher and the sun was shining; although it was very beautiful it was hard to photograph with my wide angle lens as the slightest sun spot causes a kind of over exposure.
Beforehand I had in mind to photograph a lot of different, beautiful and eatable mushrooms; I wanted the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) and/or Penny Bun (Boletus edulis) with in the background the huge forest. Unfortunately I did not find both. From a local I learned that most eatable mushrooms are gathered already. After a long walk (more a run) in the early evening I found some Fly Agarics but unfortunately they were growing between some high brown grass.
Fortunately I found an other kind of Fly Agaric.....the bad smell brought me to him!
One morning, when I stepped out in the first light to photograph the sunrise in the hills, it felt like somebody had put on the heath outside.....summer arrived again and in the noon I saw some butterflies nipping on rotten apples.
Again I took my camera but instead of tripod I choose my beanbag and angle finder as I wanted an other perspective. Due to the warm weather a lot of Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) were jumping near the creeks and in a beech forest nearby a lot of beautiful caterpillars of the Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) came out of the trees.
How time flies! As I mentioned before, one week was too short as every day felt like an other and new adventure. Next to the nature encounters I was impressed by the kindness of the local people.
More autumn photos of this lovely forest region and its inhabitants can be found in the chapter Teutoburger Wald, I added an autumn gallery.
Last Sunday I visited the Strabrechtse Heide again. Entering the area I lost my orientation as it looked totally different than some days earlier. A huge bulldozer removed the fallen trees which blocked the footpaths and took down much more black trees. All the things I photographed a few days earlier were gone now……
Although Staatsbosbeheer is warning that the black trees can falling down, I climbed into the remaining small black wood. Sitting there alone and unseen I enjoyed the landscape and the noise of a woodpecker and I discovered that the two Ladybirds which I found earlier are just two out of hundreds…..
Absorbing the landscape I suddenly saw something really beautiful: a bouquet, given to me by mother nature: trametes versicolor.
Portfolio -> Strabrechtse Heide
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180 mm, 0.6s at F22 and ISO100
As I’m triggered to capture the relation between nature & human influence I had a photo in mind with the group fly agarics and passing cars. Unfortunately the red in their caps vanished very quickly and every day the process of decay was more visible. One foggy morning I had some luck but the sun was rising too quick and the fog disappeared within a few minutes and, not unimportant, the colours of the cars were very dull. Why 90% has a black, dark blue, white or silver car? So here is my advice, buy a pink, yellow, orange, red or lime green car!! That’s very nice for photographers who like to photograph mushrooms near highways and roads!
Since weeks I was looking for them in forests, unfortunately without any success. A few days ago I was driving on a main road when I saw them….a group of fly agarics growing in the grass near the road. The next day I drove back to the place but unfortunately most of the mushrooms were already brown. I found a small group with red in their caps but photographing them was a risky matter and experience as the traffic was passing within one metre with at least 80 km/h. This is the result which I had in mind but with white, frozen, grass so I hope that frost will come again soon.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.