Skunk Cabbage

Joined
Mar 28, 2008
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OH - IO
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Mike
The snow is melting away enough that the Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is finally starting to show itself. It is the earliest blooming wildflower in Ohio. It is a thermogenic plant that can generate its own heat through a chemical process within itself. This allows it to bloom with snow and ice on the ground as it melts the snow around it (image 4). Along with its odor, the heat also creates a warm spot that attracts any pollinating insects that are out this time of year.

1. The green leaf spikes have been out of the ground for a couple months. They will grow into large leaves that resemble hosta or tobacco leaves.

skunk cabbage 1 2-24-2021.jpg
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2.

skunk cabbage 2 2-24-2021.jpg
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3.

skunk cabbage 3 2-24-2021.jpg
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4. Melting a bit of snow.

skunk cabbage 4 2-24-2021.jpg
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5. You can see the actual yellow flowers starting to form on the spadix inside the one on the right.

skunk cabbage 5 2-24-2021.jpg
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6. Somebody spilled some Cocao Puffs!

poop 2-24-2021.jpg
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Thanks for looking!
 
Joined
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Dan
Interesting factoids. In coastal AK also it is one of the first things to show signs of life in spring. In some places it gets waist high. Black bears eat the flowers.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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24,220
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SW Virginia
We usually find these about this time of year around here. This year, the forest floor has been buried under snow and ice for about a month so we haven't looked. These past two mild days probably has them popping out.

Nice photos. I would never think of using a 500mm for that, but it would probably prevent some slogging through some mud.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
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OH - IO
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Mike
We usually find these about this time of year around here. This year, the forest floor has been buried under snow and ice for about a month so we haven't looked. These past two mild days probably has them popping out.

Nice photos. I would never think of using a 500mm for that, but it would probably prevent some slogging through some mud.
Thanks Jim. The 200-500 f5.6 on a D850 has become my go to, walking around set-up. If I know I will be shooting something specific, I'll go with a different lens. The 200-500 is an incredible lens, especially for the money. My only knock is the 8' minimum focus distance. But with 500mm and 45 megapixels, cropping an image to get closer works for me. The combo is a bit slow to focus. I've yet to be able to a good image of anything in flight. But, I don't have $18k for a D6 and a 600mm prime.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
24,220
Location
SW Virginia
Thanks Jim. The 200-500 f5.6 on a D850 has become my go to, walking around set-up. If I know I will be shooting something specific, I'll go with a different lens. The 200-500 is an incredible lens, especially for the money. My only knock is the 8' minimum focus distance. But with 500mm and 45 megapixels, cropping an image to get closer works for me. The combo is a bit slow to focus. I've yet to be able to a good image of anything in flight. But, I don't have $18k for a D6 and a 600mm prime.

My objection to that combo is size and weight. I couldn't handle it.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
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OH - IO
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Mike
My objection to that combo is size and weight. I couldn't handle it.
Yeah, it's heavy. I switched to Black Rapid straps which are really comfortable to me. So unless I'm actually holding it to shoot, I don't feel the weight. Now waiting on a shot with the combo in
 
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