Photographer's Note

Today is part 6 of my series "Northstar Mountain Resort Hike". I have been extremely busy, so I haven't been able to get anything posted sense last weekend. I was able to post this morning (4:30am), because I've been up most the night with a busted air conditioner when it was 105 degrees yesterday. So I'm taking advantage of this time by posting a photo I find so intriguing and beautiful.

Colors, with shadows and reflections galore!! If you look at the right side of this photo, you will see what I like most about this photo. You will see the reflections of the pine trees then just a bit further out the shadows of those trees, giving a glowing effect.

As you have seen in my series here of Lake Watson, there are an abundant amount of dead trees littering the shore of this beautiful sierra lake. I find it to be the circle of life in full view, with amazing results.

The lake is alive with fish, and this week millions of frogs will begin their transformation into full fledge frogs as they have been in the form of tadpoles for about a month now. If you were to be camping this week there, you'd be serenaded by thousands and thousands of frogs, not to forget about the sounds of trout feeding off the frogs all night long. My favorite part about these frogs is that they will cut back on the mosquitoes that plague the sierra's this time of year.

I hope you find this photo to be inspiring and beautiful as I do.

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!!

Buddy & Jenny Denmark

A second life for trees in lakes: as useful in water as they were on land.

Michael A. Bozek;

Ten thousand years ago, a tree grew near a lakeshore somewhere in North America. For 140 years or more, fish swam in its shade and insects hatched on its branches and leaves; some were eaten by birds, some fell into the water to be eaten by fish, some survived to continue the cycle of life. Birds nested and foraged in its branches, perhaps kingfishers dropped like rocks, propelled by gravity to their next meal; eagles perched among its highest branches. A wood frog chorus would start each evening in spring near the first crotch, and often red squirrels would chatter for whatever reason red squirrels chatter.

Then one day it happened: after years of increasing decay near the end of its life, the tree snapped at the butt during a windstorm, and fell with a thunderous crash into the lake; 140 years of silence and quiet rustling, punctuated by a single quick loud finale. Within a minute, the waves that had acknowledged the tree’s entry into the water subsided, and all was quiet again.

The tree had lived a full and accomplished life. It had crossed paths with countless generations and species of organisms that used or relied on the structural characteristics of its bole and branches or functional processes to carry on with their own life, changing with seasons, changing with age. Yet now, it began its second life…in the lake. Within hours, crayfish crawled beneath its partially submerged trunk, to be followed by a mudpuppy and tadpoles, while minnows and small fish hovered within the lattice of its branches. Within days, logperch, darters, sunfish, bass, burbot, pike, and even walleye and muskellunge had also entered the complex network of the newly established community. Algae and diatoms began establishing colonies, while dragonfly nymphs and mayflies followed to forage among the branches. A wood duck competed with a softshell turtle for basking space on the bole that once contained its nest site cavity. Herons, green and blue, alternated use as well: a fine place to access the fish below. And use of the tree by a variety of organisms would continue again for much longer than its life on land; remarkably perhaps 300 to 600 years, slowly changing shape over time as it yields to father time. Different organisms continue to use the tree until the cellulose had completely been broken down and its chemical constituents had been fully integrated into the web of life in the lake. And even in the remaining shallow depression it left on the lake bottom, leaves and needles of trees still standing, accumulate creating more habitat for aquatic insects. All this and more occurred from a single tree. A habitat as diverse as this, a relationship between flora and fauna, a union of land and water, evolved to perfection over millennia.

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Additional Photos by Buddy Denmark (PecoBud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 408 W: 0 N: 912] (3824)
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