Montana Outdoors

April 25, 2014

An Arbor Day song

Filed under: Spring, Trees — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:12 pm

This afternoon while on our front deck I could hear a captivating humming sound, soft and melodious, that seemed to be drifting down on the breeze. When I looked up I could see that one of my favorite trees, a huge old Box Elder that provides summer shade across the whole front of the house is now in full bloom and the sound was coming from there. It was an Arbor Day song sung by the wings of hundreds of honey bees that were visiting the blossoms of the big old tree.

I took several pictures of one of the blossoms but was not happy with them and so tonight I tried this one in the dark.

Box Elder tree blossom

Box Elder blossom ~ Acer negundo


  1. Quite amazing, and quite special.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — April 25, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

    • Thanks Charlie! I’ve never caught it in prime bloom before. Quite a display!


      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2014 @ 10:54 pm

  2. Nice shot, Terry.

    I find it hard to photograph high up in trees, (flowers or birds), as more often than not, the bright sun turns them into a silhouette with no detail. Great idea to try again at night. You did very well.


    Comment by Vicki — April 25, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

    • That’s beautiful, Dad! Love you!


      Comment by Anonymous — April 25, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

    • Thanks Vicki. There was a breeze earlier and poor light so I didn’t really care for what I got. Later the breeze was gone.


      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

  3. Wow! That’s very effective!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 25, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

    • I’ve been surprised at how well the “on-board” flash does on this camera when shooting macros. It’s also helpful that it allows flash compensation, in this case -1.7 EV did the trick.


      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2014 @ 11:41 pm

  4. Beautiful shot! The sounds of spring, if we would just turn off our portable electronic devices, are enchanting!


    Comment by centralohionature — April 26, 2014 @ 4:24 am

    • That’s true. There is still a beautiful world just beyond technology.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  5. Beautiful! Box elder was the first tree I ever planted, when I was about 8 years old. I had the same problem getting a photo of its flowers that I liked last week. I never knew that bees enjoyed them so much. That’s great!


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — April 26, 2014 @ 5:29 am

    • This one is a treasure. It shades the south side of the house in summer, but it’s bare winter branches let the sun through. I think the bees are there because so far there isn’t much of a volume of flowers yet.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:30 am

  6. Very dramatic photo!


    Comment by derrycats — April 26, 2014 @ 5:48 am

    • Yes, it does look dramatic, doesn’t it. It was something I just wanted to try and it worked!


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:32 am

  7. What a great idea — photographing with the night sky instead. The flash does a great job of illuminating exactly what you want to focus on.


    Comment by Sue — April 26, 2014 @ 6:36 am

    • I used to use flash quite a bit, even in daytime, but I had trouble controlling the depth of field. At night that isn’t a problem.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:33 am

  8. Beautiful tree, especially when blooming. Love the dark background. It really puts the focus on the subject.


    Comment by anniespickns — April 26, 2014 @ 7:19 am

    • I love trees in general, but this one a special favorite. I will have to try photographing more flowers at night (if I can remember where they are).


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:36 am

  9. absolutely gorgeous!
    new sounds, one of springs songs.
    did you know the name of the wee grass like flower in my recent post? I am having trouble finding/remembering it.


    Comment by Tammie — April 26, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    • Thanks Tammie.
      I admired your photo of the grass flower but for the life of me I can’t identify it. It’s very pretty! I looked through about a hundred grass species on the Burke Museum site, but unfortunately, there are few good photos of grasses in bloom.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 8:43 am

  10. This is a spectacular photo. I have a friend who ranches outside Kalispell. He has a large box elder in the middle of a paddock, and I love watching it change through the seasons. I’m sending him this photo – he does some photography, too, so I know he’ll appreciate the technical side of it as well as its beauty.


    Comment by shoreacres — April 26, 2014 @ 10:04 am

    • Thanks! I hope your friend enjoys the photo. The box elder is a very visual tree, with its beautiful light green in the spring, dark green in summer and beautiful gold in the fall. We cherish the shade in late summer!


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

  11. Beautiful shot Terry! I used to have an old Box Elder tree in my backyard. I loved that tree. I hung a hammock and spent many hot summers daydreaming in the shade it provided.


    Comment by twoscamps — April 26, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

    • I don’t know the age of our Box Elder, but its canopy is over 40 feet across and the shade it provides is wonderful. It has two companions out in front in a pair of century-old pines.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

  12. Wow. That’s almost other-worldly in its beauty and shape. Gorgeous photo. There’s something comforting about hearing the honey bees …


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 26, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

    • One wouldn’t think that was a tree blossom. I haven’t heard bees like that since a few times in the Sonoran Desert in blooming palo Verdes.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

  13. That’s a beautiful shot of a beautiful flower Terry. Was it hand-held, or did you use a tripod? How far off the ground was it? Inquiring minds want to know!


    Comment by jomegat — April 26, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

    • It was a hand-held shot. My camera automatically used 1/60 second for flash setting. Seems to work. The blossom was about 10 feet from the ground and I shot it by standing on the rail of our deck. (You do what you gotta do!)


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

  14. That is a really beautiful photo … Macro is a fantastic invention for us who like to take close ups … // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — April 27, 2014 @ 2:42 am

    • Thank you Maria. I have really liked macro because it has shown me things that I’ve never been able to really see before.


      Comment by montucky — April 27, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

  15. Beautiful. I would never have thought I’d prefer night-time photos of plants to day-time ones, but you are almost convincing me. They take on an extra air of magic!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 27, 2014 @ 5:33 am

    • I’m not skilled or knowledgeable about night photography, but for small things where the flash can do a good job it seems OK. I liked this photo.


      Comment by montucky — April 27, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

  16. Quite artistic looking!


    Comment by Roberta — April 27, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

  17. Love the black back ground Terry really sets the bloom off, great work !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — April 28, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

    • It actually worked better than I thought it would. Lesson learned!


      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

  18. Wow, the photo in the dark really paid off! Awesome!


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — April 30, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    • You never know until you try I guess. Thank goodness for digital!


      Comment by montucky — April 30, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  19. Very artistic photo.


    Comment by Sartenada — May 1, 2014 @ 5:02 am

  20. Very nice. And nice that the bees sang to the tree on Arbor Day.


    Comment by Candace — May 1, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    • I was overjoyed to see (and hear) that many bees! There have been few in recent years.


      Comment by montucky — May 1, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

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