I'm not sure why, but the DNR plants winter wheat rye in some of fields in the Allegan Forest, the game area where I do much of my outdoor photography. The game area was cobbled together from a lot of failed farms in the 1930's - farms that failed due to the very sandy soil that offers little support for crops. Here's a closeup of a the head of wheat rye stalk with a little spider on it. The wheat rye has grown fairly well this year, but is exceedingly thin in the sandy soil. The tan background is the rest of the field.
(Correction: I thought it was winter wheat, but after chatting with a farmer with a field full of this stuff I learned that it was rye.)
A shaft of sunlight lands on a pine sapling. This was taken on Agfa APX 400 exposed at ISO 64 and pull processed in Rodinal to compress the tonal range. Pentax 6x7 and SMC Takumar 105mm f2.4 lens. Film was rated at ISO 64 assuming the the true sensitivity of APX 400 is more like ISO 250. Taken in Michigan's Allegan Forest.
I had to laugh when I spotted this sign last week... The last time I was in this place - 11 or 12 years ago - I wandered deeper into the woods and found some large wooden signs, covered with just tatters of paper. Beyond that was a tall steep earthen berm and beyond that was an open field. I like open fields... It didn't take long before I knew I was on the wrong end of a shooting range...
This is a film exposure - 35mm Tri-X. Pentax Mz-S, FA 20-35 f4 lens, XI green filter, film devoped in HC110 Dil B. I am reviving my "sun dappled woods" project, last visited in 2008.
Yesterday I visited a favorite pond in the Allegan Forest. For years I knew the pond as a seasonal marsh which went dry every summer, but over the past decade or so it has steadily filled up with water and no longer goes dry. It is host to an enormous number of dragonflies and also frogs, toads, turtles and more. Periodically, a huge number of these tiny toads flood the grassy savannah near the pond:
Eastern American Toad, Anaxyrus americanus
This is an Eastern American Toad, Anaxyrus americanus. It was quite small, roughly comparable to a US one cent piece in size. Here is a very crude comparison shot:
The field was teeming with these little toads yesterday, something that happens now and then in late spring or early summer. There were literally thousands of these tiny creatures making their way through the fields and into the adjacent woods.