Monday, May 9, 2011

and now for something completely different.

In honor of International Monty Python Day – tomorrow – we’re going someplace new today. Up into the woods.
last year’s beech leaves.  not too many of these left.
P1070228A decaying stump serves as a nursery for moss and canada mayflower
sweet little canada mayflower!
I spent a lot of time with maples.
I found myself puzzling over how to tell the difference between red and sugar maple, when it’s past bud season (the buds are a no-brainer to tell apart) but leaves are not necessarily easily at hand either (because the trees are too tall and no branches are accessible.) In the following few pictures…
…I tried to figure out if the two distinctly different guys above are the same species, with the younger one (less furrowed) at right, or just Awfully Close Neighbors.
Maybe the trunk will provide a clue. To me, the bark is the same from one side to another, so I think they’re differently aged stump sprouts. When you chop down a tree – certain species, in particular – sometimes you’ll get a bunch of sprouts growing out of it that do well enough to turn into pretty big trees themselves.
So I think this is a stump sprout. The one on the right is older – you can tell by the more-furrowed bark.
farther up the tree, one trunk has split a second time. From left, we have the youngest, the middle, and the oldest, all accessing the same root system. Or so I speculate.
And now, for white birch.
Birch I
Birch II
(note: correct orientation is actually the other way – I just think it’s prettier in this direction)
Birch III
baby fern.
baby fern and jack-in-the-pulpit
Another decaying stump…this whole back part of the property has been logged, obviously, as everything in this state has been logged at one (or four or five) points along the way.
OH! An ash sapling. Already leafed out. The big trees haven’t leafed out yet. It’s like they’re taking turns with the maples, letting the maples go first.
An ash bud when it’s on a sapling. So cute.
Remember the fern I thought was maidenhair but I was totally wrong? [Except that later, I realized I was right? It is maidenhair fern.] Here’s what it looks like these days.
imagine the trauma that resulted in this. such a survivor.
Just Good Friends. An ash and a yellow birch.
And now, for a finale, back to beech.
I wonder what function the hair serves. As packing material separating the folds in the leaves when they’re still super-tiny and compressed?

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