Saturday, October 20, 2012

A journey up into the 100 acre woods

In between looking around and taking all the photos you’ll see below, I mused about what I’m doing with my life.

DSC_0726 (5)

Two seeds left! Maybe some kind of aster?

I like doing this. I can feel roots growing out of my feet every time I come up here.

DSC_0733 (5)

We’re near the spot of the drunk chorus-girls (a reference to a post from last December. Really, one of my faves – take a minute to check it out; I’ll be here when you get back.)

I like connecting to place.

DSC_0741 (5)

Trying for shots I have no business trying for with a macro lens.

It rained all day yesterday – I spent most of the day working at my computer, only venturing out to fetch the mail. Evidence of yesterday’s rain was to be found everywhere.

DSC_0752 (5)

Like on the fairy convocation.

I thought about how lucky I am to be living here. How common is it for people in today’s harried world to be able to feel the earth beneath their feet? Really, the less pavement around me, the better I do. I thought about connecting to other people. I do so well one-on-one. And “global humanity”, I’m pretty good with. Sorta. Most days. But man: community level…national politics level…we can be so mean to each other!

DSC_0756 (5)

I had fun focusing on each of the three trees in turn.

Do we not feel how our roots are intertwined? Maybe that’s the problem.

DSC_0768 (5)

What the…? I’m going with Cyd Charisse in a billowing dress, but maybe it’s a kind of mushroom.

So, obsessed with roots, and connection, you can see how I got off on this particular tree.

DSC_0791 (5)

Not the crispest shot, I know, but check out what’s happening: a seedling sprouted in a rotting stump a long time ago, and now it’s got its roots just completely draping it.

DSC_0792 (5)

Similar phenom. I should have looked harder to see if these are from the same root stock – that can happen. Um…memory, memory…I think this DOES happen with red maples, and I think those might be red maple trunks…Gaghhh, I should have looked closer. See how they’re curving to the right at the base? They’re probably from the same root stock as the stump. Being able to Not Know is a vital part of learning…

DSC_0810 (5)

I had fun when the sun peeked out from behind clouds.

DSC_0819 (5)

Life prevails: a beech seedling impaling a beech leaf.

DSC_0839 (5)

Trumpets, please: This is the first fern I’ve ever tried to ID with my new-to-me-this-past-summer fern finder. It’s tricky when you don’t have all the data. In this case, I wasn’t thinking of ID-ing, I was just taking loads of pictures (most not shown). I didn’t think to ask myself, “self, where are the spores? on the back sides of the leaves? or on separate stalks?” At first, when rifling through the guide afterwards at my desk, I assumed the former, but I wound up with a species that apparently shouldn’t be growing this far south (Cystopteris montana – Mountain Fragile Fern). So I retraced my steps (reverse-engineering the taxonomic key), and landed on Rattlesnake fern - Botrychium virginianum. I’m open to debate.

DSC_0852 (5)

Well, this seems to speak for itself.

DSC_0849 (5)

Fractals! (Zooming in, we see the same shapes repeating themselves.)


DSC_0863 (5)

Ahhh, sweet closed gentian. This is like the Virgin Mary of flowers. Somehow it gets its business done without ever opening up those petals.

DSC_0864 (5)

Check out that sweet little collar at the base of the petals. I guess those must be the sepals.


DSC_0880 (5)

Here’s a whole flock of gentians. I spent more time with these guys last summer – I kind of missed their show this year.

DSC_0882 (5)

Not far away is the spewing milkweed pod from the other day. Rain-drenched seeds! Don’t worry, little ones. You’ll get your chance to fly.

DSC_0884 (5)

Next door, this pod – which has been likened by others to a smug oyster, something naughty best left at the bottom of the drawer, something someone’s roommate puked up, an ancient lizard, and a fish mouth (hey, I’m not the only creative one around here) – says to itself, “I’m glad I waited a day to open up!”

After this, it was all about the pancakes and the bacon. This afternoon, it’s back to the slave mines: I have a big deadline at work. Gotta hop to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment