This is a photo of a field of winter wheat at the edge of forest that was logged 15-20 years ago and which now has been overtaken by aspen trees.(Click on the image for a larger file.)
A little explanation... I routinely photograph in the Allegan State Game Area, a 50,000 acre (202 square kilometer) area of state land made up of forests, wetlands, pine barrens and oak savannas. The forest is actively logged and the land is used for various recreational purposes - hunting, horseback riding, snowmobiling, etc.
A few years ago the state plowed up some of the open fields and planted winter wheat - I really don't know why. Maybe it attracts game for the hunters. So - this is a photo of a field of winter wheat at the edge of forest that was logged 15-20 years ago and which now has been overtaken by aspen trees.
When I first started visiting the forest twelve years ago these trees were only about 8 feet tall and were home to many wonderful bird species. I saw more indigo buntings in those aspen in a few hours one afternoon than I have seen in all the other hours of my life combined.
The winter wheat is remarably green this time of year, and a few days of recent rain has made it more green.
And those aspen can be devilish if you wander into them without a compass or GPS - a disorienting maze and barrier of strong small trees.
Spring ephemeral wildflowers continue to advance. Today I hunted Prairie Trillium, Trillium recurvatum. I only know one place locally where it grows, though I am sure it can be found in many places locally. The spot I visited is about an hour away so I drove over there today - and there the flowers right where I left them when I last visited in 2007 (click on the images for lager files):
Yesterday I went to my usual haunts and found a bed of fiddlehead ferns. I have no idea what the the taxonomic designation would be:
And on my way back to the ferns I found some Squirrel Corn, Dicentra canadensis. I seldom see squirrels deep in the forest but if they are there, I suspect they would prefer some old fashioned maize over this:
I have a handful more close-ups to process and post, and later this week (when I can next get away) I hope to make some landscape shots of the spring woods.