26 hour vacation

I got to visit one of my favorite places in the world yesterday and today.  I tramped around in the mud finding and losing and finding secret places.  I sat on the porch in the morning and watched and listened to the birds (including Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, and Yellow Warbler, just to mention the most colorful).

In the evening, I tried photographing the fireflies.  I hope to try again before the season is over…

Fireflies

Ridiculously Excited

This article appeared on the Nature Center blog and in local papers:

Photography Intensive
by Jennifer Schlick

I am ridiculously excited by the lineup of instructors for the Nature Center’s June 20, 2015 Photography Intensive!  The talent and experience of the instructors is top-notch.  This is a real opportunity to rub elbows with many fine photographers and to learn first-hand their tricks of the trade.  Participants will have three or four choices in each of four 1-hour time slots.  The hard part will be deciding which workshops to sign up for!

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele) butterfly-9468-2-small-tl

This photograph of a Great Spangled Fritillary by Twan Leenders is an example of the high key portrait style used in the Meet Your Neighbours project – photography for conservation.

The day will start with registration and orientation at 9:00am.  There are workshops at 9:30am, 10:45am, 12:30pm, and 1:45pm.  We’ll finish the day with evaluations from 2:45pm-3:00pm, and this is important because your feedback will help determine the topics for an upcoming summer series of Photography Workshops.

But let’s focus on June 20th.  A summary is included below, but full descriptions of the courses and biographies of the instructors can be found at our programs website:  https://jasprograms.wordpress.com/jun/photography-workshop-june-20/, which also has a link to an online registration form.  You’ll need to decide which workshops you want to take before you sign up.

IMG_4044Expose to the Sun

In Kathleen Tenpas’ workshop, you will expose treated paper and fabric to the sun to create cyanotype prints.

At 9:30am, participants will choose from Fun with Macros with Sandra Rothenberg, Comparing and Using Photo Editing Software with Michael Weishan, or Looking Good – Ideas for Composition with Gary Lester.

Sandra Rothenberg is a nature photographer who grew up in northwest Pennsylvania.  Her photographs of birds, bats, and other wildlife, as well as flowers and landscapes have been shown in galleries, and can be found in private homes and businesses.

Panebianco_sea cruise

Catherine Panebianco’s “Sea Cruise” is an example of the creative treatments you might learn in the iPhone-o-graphy workshop.

Michael Weishan hales from Cattaraugus County, New York where he teaches for the Arts Council.  His work has been exhibited in several galleries throughout the region.

Gary Lester originally picked up photography as a hobby, but eventually put his skills to work in advertising, journalism, and as a portrait and wedding photographer.

At 10:45am, choose from Meet Your Neighbours – Photography for Conservation with Twan Leenders, Pet Portraits with Personality with Cathy Panebianco, SLR Manual Mode Crash Course with Bruce Fox and Deb Lanni (this one is full), or Sun Pictures with Kathleen Tenpas.

Dramatic Sky w Birds

“Two Birds” is a composite created in Photoshop using four different images – sky, two birds, and a texture layer from a photograph of the surface of the lake. Learn to make composites with Kimberly Turner.

Twan Leenders, a biologist from the Netherlands, now heads the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History.  Meet Your Neighbors is an international project that seeks to draw attention to our often overlooked natural neighbors using a particular style of photography known as high key portraits.

Cathy Panebianco’s pet photographs grace the walls of her clients, and are used by the Human Society to help place pets in homes.  Her fine art photography, much of made with her iPhone, has been exhibited nationally and appeared in books and magazines.

Bruce Fox, photography and graphics coordinator in the Instructional Resources Department at Buffalo State College, and Deborah Lanni, recently retired from her position at Jamestown Community College as the media arts program coordinator, live in Stockton, New York.  They are co-leading a workshop at 10:45, and each offering another workshop later in the day.

Jeremy Martin at Work

Jeremy Martin is pictured her photographing a dragonfly that has just emerged. Learn more about photographing insects in Jeremy’s workshop.

Kathleen Tenpas of Clymer, New York, received her first camera at the age of eight.  She studied darkroom techniques before moving into the digital world.

The 12:30pm lineup will repeat Kathleen’s Sun Pictures workshop and also include Black & White Conversions with Jeremy Martin, Improving Landscapes with HDR with Deb Lanni, and Gear Geeks! with Bruce Fox.

Jeremy Martin is a nature photographer from Allegany County, New York whose work has appeared in several publications, including Northern Woodlands magazine and the New Yorik State Conservationist magazine.  His photo of the bog flower Rose Pogonia appears on a Canadian postage stamp.

Fern, Warren, PA, Sandra Rothenberg, wild

Sandra Rothenberg will show you how she gets close-up photographs like this fern, just starting to unfurl.

The 1:45pm time slot will include Creating Composite Images Using Photoshop with Kimberly Turner, iPhone-o-graphy with Cathy Panebianco, and Insect Photography with Jeremy Martin.

Kimberly Turner comes to us with a BFA in photography and illustration and an MFA with a concentration in photography.  She has taught photography at Indiana University, Northern Illinois University, and Michigan State University.

We’ve kept the schedule loose with 15 minute breaks between workshops and a 45-minute lunch break to give you time to network with the instructors and with fellow particpants.

The cost for the whole day is only $66, or $50 if you are a member of the Friends of the Nature Center.  Pre-registration with payment is required by Tuesday, June 16, 2015 and you can register by phone at (716) 569‑2345, in person, or online.  Be prepared to tell us which workshops you want to attend.  Participants should dress for the weather and bring their own lunches.  Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

img049

It can be hard to get images like this straight out of your camera. Let Michael Weishan show you some editing software that can improve your photographs.

The Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York and Warren, Pennsylvania.  Learn more by visiting http://jamestownaudubon.org and direct questions to (716) 569‑2345.

Jennifer Schlick is program director at the Nature Center.

Click HERE for more detailed information about the June 20th workshops.

Click HERE if you are ready to register!

Jakes Rocks

It was my turn to write for the newspaper this week.

Mini-Adventure at Jakes Rocks
by Jennifer Schlick

One of my friends is on a cross-country adventure with her daughter. I’m enjoying her regular posts of photos and quick snippets of story line. Ice on her tent, but a beautiful view. Fishing for trout. Dinner with her son who lives out west. Tromping through flood waters to get to the art museum.

IMG_4703 Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Seeing all her pictures and reading all her updates gave me a hankering to experience something new, something different. Now, I could have allowed myself to sink into a pool of self-pity about how I don’t have the time right now for a grand adventure. But instead, my brain jumped to the rescue and reminded me that I have never seen the Mountain Laurel in bloom… And, isn’t this about the time they should be blooming?

So into the car and off to Jakes Rocks Overlook! (Thank you, brain, for remembering that Jakes Rocks features, as the Forest Service website confirms, “a short hiking loop through Mountain Laurel.”)

IMG_4708 Pink Blossom on Tree

Pinxter Azalea

Mountain Laurel is the official flower of Pennsylvania. At Jakes Rocks it grows as an understory shrub, but in other locales, it can grow quite tall into something more like a small tree. Depending on where you live and what the weather has been like, the blooms may appear in late May through the first part of June. I was at the Rocks on Sunday, June 7. Most of the shrubs still had tight little buds – but a few had opened.

IMG_4410 - Wintergreen

Wintergreen

I don’t see Mountain Laurel along the trails I usually hike. There is so much of it at Jakes Rocks that I had the feeling of being on a far-flung adventure, even though I was only an hour’s car ride from home.  In addition to the Pennsylvania state flower, I delighted in learning two new shrubs, Pinxter Azalea and Mountain Winterberry, both of which were blooming near the overlook. Along the trail there were plenty of Striped Maples – also known as Goosefoot Maple for the shape of the leaves, and as Moosewood – because moose eat it, I assume. The aromatic Sassafras was also plentiful. A pine tree with deeply furrowed bark and needles in twisted bundles of three had me perplexed… could it be Pitch Pine? On the ground I saw Wintergreen (and I resisted the urge to munch on one of the plump red berries), Low Bush Blueberries that looked like they had already bloomed, and Sarsaparilla with flowers. Along the roads white blossoms gave away the location of future blackberries.

IMG_4706 Kinzua Reservoir from Jake's Rocks

Kinzua Reservoir from Jakes Rocks

There are spectacular views of the Kinzua Reservoir both from the hiking loop and from the road. I’ve been there many times before, usually with energetic children who love climbing the gigantic rocks and taking the lower trail which goes “under” the rocks, which I didn’t take advantage of during this whirlwind mini-adventure. Seeing the Mountain Laurel was all I wanted and it was worth the drive. I recommend you go this weekend! There are picnic tables and restrooms – so take your lunch and plan to spend the day. If you have time, you might consider also stopping in at the Kinzua Dam visitor center, Bent Run Waterfall area, and Rimrock! Make a full day of it!

I still don’t know where the name “Jakes Rocks” came from. I mean, the “Rocks” part is obvious. At first I thought the rocks belonged to Jake. But if that were true, there’d be an apostrophe before the s. Hmm… If you know, drop me a line!

Jamestown Audubon Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road in the town of Kiantone, one quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York and Warren Pennsylvania. Learn more about the Center by calling (716) 569‑2345 or visiting http://jamestownaudubon.org. The Allegheny National Forest website describes Jakes Rocks here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/allegheny/recreation/recarea/?recid=6092&actid=54.

Panama Rocks

I got to spend Mother’s Day at Panama Rocks with my family.

IMG_4542 Mother's Day 2015

It’s not an easy place to photograph. If it is a sunny day, the contrasty light makes it very challenging. It was quite sunny when we arrived, but clouds rolled in as our hike continued.

IMG_4490 My Girls

It was a hot day. But the rocks still held on to winter’s cold… quite literally in some spots where there was still ice.

IMG_4510 Panama Rocks

Even though my girls are in their early 20s, they adopted the spirit of 6-year-olds to do the park’s scavenger hunt.

IMG_4545 Emily IMG_4523 - Fat Man's Misery - Maddie

The hunt teaches both natural and human history.

IMG_4576 overhead opening

I didn’t really attend much to the facts. I was too entranced by the rocks and trees and play of light.

IMG_4549 Tree on Rock IMG_4567 Passage

IMG_4604 nice scene

IMG_4579 Through to the Light IMG_4598 Ice

Maddie was most excited by the scavenger hunt and did find the the treasure in the end!

IMG_4607 - Found the Treasure!

It was a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Thank you!

IMG_4584 - Painted Trillium

More Spring Wildflowers – JCC’s College Park

Thank you, Barbara, for making me “pay up” on my promise to take you on a wildflower walk.  And thank you, Kathleen, for joining us.  I think we made quite a (digital) haul!  I’m listing only the stuff we saw blooming.  There were also leaves of things that have already bloomed, and leaves of things that have not yet bloomed!

In no particular order:

  1. Dandelion
  2. Colt’s Foot
  3. Speedwell
  4. Ground Ivy
  5. Common Violet
  6. Another paler violet
  7. One of the Yellow violets
  8. Sweet White Violet
  9. Toothwort
  10. Cut-leaved Toothwort
  11. Wild Strawberry
  12. Myrtle
  13. Marsh Marigold
  14. Rosy Bells
  15. Solomon’s Seal (buds)
  16. False Solomon’s Seal (nearly open!)
  17. Wild Oats
  18. Squirrel Corn
  19. Dwarf Ginseng
  20. Goldthread
  21. Spring Beauty – Caroliniana
  22. Spring Beauty – Virginica
  23. Red Trillium, including a white one!
  24. White Trillium
  25. Wild Geranium
  26. Blue Cohosh
  27. Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  28. Foam Flower (just starting to break out of the buds)
  29. Trout Lily
  30. Barren Strawberry
  31. American Fly Honeysuckle
  32. Forget-Me-Not

Here are a few pictures:

I’m not sure of the species. It is paler than the Common Violet.
IMG_4413 - Pale Violet

Forget-Me-Not
IMG_4415 - Forget-Me-Not

Red Trillium
IMG_4447 - Red Trillium

The White Red Trillium
IMG_4464 - White Red Trillium

White Trillium
IMG_4467 - White Trillium

Wild Geranium
IMG_4473 - Wild Geranium

This doesn’t count because it was berries, not flowers, but we also saw Partridge Berries and Wintergreen.

Wintergreen
IMG_4410 - Wintergreen

You can see a slideshow of all the pictures by clicking here. (Well, you can see some of the ones that turned out, anyway.)

Spring Wildflowers

Seems like forever since I crawled around on the forest floor taking wildflower pictures.  Here’s what I saw on a quick 1/2 hour walk at Jamestown Community College’s “College Park” today:

Trailing Arbutus:
IMG_4340 Trailing Arbutus
(OK, actually, this was over at Roger Tory Peterson Institute.)

Cut-leaved Toothwort:
IMG_4341 Cut-leaved Toothwort_1

Hepatica:
IMG_4344 Hepatica

Yellow Violet:
IMG_4347 Yellow Violet

Sessile-leaved Bellwort (aka Wild Oats):
IMG_4350 Wild Oats

Marsh Marigold:
IMG_4358 Marsh Marigold

I’ve never had poison ivy before. If I’m going to get it, it will be today. I had to remove some “twigs” from around the Marsh Marigold. It wasn’t until I was done with my photographs that i realized what it was…