Friday, January 20, 2012

Forest Walk

There are secrets in these hills that are only heard in silence. The plow, the bulldozer nor the car can ever reach them. You have to get off on foot, away. It was a rare day in January with temperatures up to 50 degrees. After weeks of being in the house I craved getting out. I longed to be in natural surroundings, excape the hustle and bustle of everyday human life. So, even though logic told me stay, my check engine light in my car was on, I got in and drove a few miles down the road anyways. No time like today.

I took myself to a place where a wonderful lady lets people walk her property to as she said it, "enjoy nature in its natural state." Can you believe there are still such angels in this world?

 I knew I would most likely be alone there as the spot is, as yet, unheralded. The site contains history and mystery as it is home to some ancient rocks which were placed in two circles sometime long ago by an ancient people.

Three little sprites lead the way up the trail. If you look very closely you can see all three of them in the first picture and one of them in the second.

There were little trinklets of water all over the trail as the downfall from recent rains found the path of least resistance down the gullies. I paused before I crossed the spontaneous water creeks to listen to their songs.

There is so much color in nature even in the depths of winter.
Nothing is more green than the moss that drapes and softens the forest with carpet.
The sporophyte rise from their clump of moss in a deep shade of amber-red.

These lichens are a striking orange-yellow.

Trees with scars, holes and wounds might not be good to harvest
for lumber but they are the trees that hold the secrets of the woods
and become the homes for wild creatures, spirits and gnomes.

Are these ground cherries or horse nettle that are sprinkled along the path up on the clearing? They sure looked bright and cheerful on a January afternoon.

I could reflect on water reflections all day long.

The sky is beautiful.

The stalk of a lone mullein plant looks like a desert cactus.

Last summer's goldenrod stands stiffly against the woods and a stormy sky.

Ah! American Pennyroyal, in winter garb, clusters on the rocks that know of what was but are not allowed to tell.

The wind picks up and the tree that is crooked warns me to be careful as I head back down the hill. I think I hear the deer that lead me in and I turn to look behind me on the path but no it is a huge, old tree falling, falling, falling.

 The arms of the tree's neighbors break the fall with their limbs, but the tree is determined and it keeps on descending with force until it lands with a thud on the ground. I feel the vibration in my feet. Swiftly I move on down the trail and to my car before the storm and the forest hold me captive. Yet, I am thrilled that now for the first time in my life I have witnessed a tree fall down in the forest due to old age and wind. It was a powerful thing and done with exclamation!


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