So green and so blue. There were turtles on Turtle Isle. ♥
Moss, rocks, leaves, and lichen at the top of our trail. The second photo has a missing piece because that’s where my official collected rock came from. It was a disconnected section that fit right in like a puzzle-piece, but wanted to separate off on its own adventure. These rocks sit on top of a much larger rock that, like them, is very composite-y, made up of layers of all sorts of different cool quartz-y minerals and mica and all that good stuff.
The little tree sprout is from a huge chestnut oak; as you can see, it came up in last year’s old fallen chestnut oak leaves. I read that chestnut oaks like to grow on the tops of ridges, so that must be why they are only at the highest level of our property. I love finding out why specific trees (and other plants) grow in specific places. I never really thought about that before!
Today in the hammock I read a chapter of my moss book about gap dynamics, in which I learned that yellow birch thrives on the small mound of earth thrown up when another tree falls (usually as a result of windthrow). The disturbed soil, and the empty space in the forest canopy, allow the yellow birch’s seed to take hold and grow up quickly along the new column of light. The mound eventually erodes away, leaving the birch standing on stilt-like roots. I know I have seen trees in our forest with roots like that; next time I notice one, I will have to see if it’s a yellow birch! (We have a lot of yellow birch.) Also, I will remember that, without other trees falling, yellow birch would disappear, losing their position in the community of the forest. Other trees have specialized roles like these to fill, too. I wish I had a book about that!
“The architecture of the surrounding forest is repeated in the form of the moss carpet…. Let your focus shift to the scale of a dewdrop, the forest landscape now becomes the blurred wallpaper, only a backdrop to the distinctive moss microcosm” (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss, p. 10).
“Mosses must be awash in moisture in order for the alchemy of photosynthesis to occur. A thin film of water over the moss leaf is the gateway for carbon dioxide to dissolve and enter the leaf, beginning the transformation of light and air into sugar. Without water a dry moss is incapable of growth. Lacking roots, mosses can’t replenish their supply of water from the soil, and survive only at the mercy of rainfall. Mosses are therefore most abundant in consistently moist places, such as the spray zone of waterfalls and cliffs seeping with spring water” (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss, p. 36).
“Mosses and other small beings issue an invitation to dwell for a time right at the limits of ordinary perception. All it requires of us is attentiveness. Look in a certain way and a whole new world can be revealed” (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss, p. 10).
“Life attracts life” (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss, p. 49). Young ferns emerging from moist moss growing on bare rock.
More scenes on our trail today. After my photo-wander, I joined Dean in the hammock to read my moss book. It was so nice.
Boulders I have known, in chronological order: 1) Across the road from my grandma’s house in Storrs, B) Where I used to wait for the school bus in Mansfield Center, 3) In our back yard in South Glastonbury, 4) At the very top of our property in South Glastonbury.
I got some new sedum and sempervivum for my succulent hill! Not planting them yet, because I want to see how and where last year’s fill in first, but they are snagged. My favorite is the mavue-y sedum in the bottom left corner (natch). I saw it last week at Scott’s and instantly loved it. It’s Sedum spathulifolium ‘Carnea’ and everything about it is perfect. I got three of them. I also love the one in the top left, Sedum forsterianum ‘Antique Grill’ (intriguing name!). They both share colors: silvery violet (mauve), antique green, crimson. And they both get yellow flowers. I also bought Sempervivum ‘Rojin’ and Sempervivum ‘Pilioseum’ (bottom right). Gorgeous grey-greens and dusky plummy roses.
The lichen in the top right is on a rock on Succulent Hill; I noticed it when I was climbing around checking out everything’s progress. (I love the very subtle colors, including the tiny bluish grey knobs on the left.) I also noticed that the runaway pear trees are blooming. I’m pretty sure they are pears, at least… they smell like pears, and our neighbor has some big ornamental pears, so I think the ones in our woods are sapling offsprings of those. I marked the larger one with a sign so I can keep track of it, because the only time I notice it is when it’s blooming in the spring, and then I lose it in the woods.
Other trees in our yard that are noticable right now: sassafras (with their conspicuous fluffy spring green pompons), the tulip tree (up so high, but glowing green with new leaves when the sun catches it), and witch hazel (baby leaves just now appearing everywhere along the trail). It’s too cold and overcast today for me to look the way I want to, but it’s good for photographing mauves, I guess.
It was BEAUTIFUL out today! I saw Snakey sunning himself in the phlox when I was doing some spring trimming in the yard. I finished trimming the second St. John’s Wort, severely hacked back both of the insane out-of-control butterfly bushes (but I doubt it will hamper their insane out-of-controlness very much), cleaned up the lilies and catmint in the side bed, and put everything into gigantic piles for Dean to dump in the woods. We also got a whole bunch of lettuce and herbs at Scott’s to plant in our little let bed, and had a dump truck of topsoil delivered for filling in spots on the lawn. Quite exciting!
Oh: ALSO: the bleeding hearts are coming up, especially Valentine! And I worked on my rock-finding assignment. But I was attracted to too many potential rocks! I have seven right now, so I need to feel them out and see which one speaks to me the most. A large part of making a collection is selection. (I am not making a rock collection, but I am participating in one, so my selection is important.)
That’s Maggie in the background in the pic above. She is full of fluffy stars! The shirt I’m wearing is semi-homemade. I cut the letters out of another shirt and sewed them on that one (with my sewing machine). It says “LIVE ♥ DIVE” and the letters are sea creature-textured.