I spent a week in the Poconos, recently, and worked in a hike on the Skyline Trail in Hickory Run State Park. Much of the beauty of the Pocono Plateau is subtle; the scruffy looking field looks unkempt, but when you look closer you see that it is covered with low bush blueberries. It was disheartening to see Japanese stilt grass along both sides of the more popular woodland trails. I worry that the blueberries can not compete. I now think that maybe population growth is a good thing - if it gives us lots of people to defend our native natural areas from invasive species.
Thistle and Butterfly
Just a short distance from the trail head I saw two gorgeous thistle blossoms glowing against the grasses. As I made friends with the thistles I thought how wonderful it would be if a butterfly would join us. Nature smiled on us, and I was able to get this lovely shot. The surrounding grasses, however, were more distraction than beauty, so I used Photoshop's "refine edge" process to help pull the main actors out of the background. This photo is available for download in the usual sizes, plus, I also created an iPad and a vertical, smart phone version of this image
- all available in my Hickory Run Smug Mug gallery
I think this would also look great on a T-shirt or in a print as large as 18x12, available through Zen Folio
I detoured down the Fireline Trail to get a sense of how challenging it might be to follow it into the Lehigh Gorge. Given the heat and humidity I did not go far, but found this wonderfully peaceful forest scene. About a dozen shots have been merged to make this woodland panorama. It graces my monitor at work. If I had an empty wall, I would love to print this as a wall wrap.
Back on the Skyline Trail I found this brushy meadow that epitomizes the unpretentious beauty of the Pocono Plateau, a beauty that I fear will be lost as invasive foreign plants take over. In Blueberry Heaven 18x24
, we see low bush blueberries and ferns covering the floor of this woodland clearing, with a scattering of scrub pine, oak and beech.
As usual, feel free to download these images in whatever size works best for your devices. If you want a print - or a cutting board or wall wrap, or almost any photo product, please purchase through Zen Folio or SmugMug. Thanks!
Coming up soon - photos from the north end of Michigan's lower peninsula on Lake Huron.
Love to All!