Follow by Email

Friday, June 3, 2011


Come with me into the woods. Look around you. Together we'll enjoy tho wonders of my woods. Easing through the woods, struggling against thorny berry brambles and fallen limbs, it is hard to pay attention to anything other than were to place our next step.  We catch glimpses of nature at its best such as that Pileated woodpecker on our right though most of what we see is that branch ready to hit us in the face.  And spider webs. You and I are probably not the prey the spiders thought of when they build a multitude of webs from twig to twig. We catch the webs, they don't catch us.
Overhead I can hear birds of all kinds warning of our approach though it isn't necessary, the way we are crashing through this thicket.  A couple weeks ago, when I decided to cut straight through the woods, ignoring all paths, my friend asks me, "Do you, well . . . do you . . . um . . . you know, ever get lost?" I had forgotten the feeling of bewilderment you have when you are not on your "home" turf. the answer, of course, was, "No. Not around here."  but in other places, "sure." It never really worried me, though.  I've never hiked in true wilderness. 

White breasted nuthatch

If I did I would be very  careful.  But in  the civilized areas of our Appalachian woods I go by what my mother told me to do when I really didn't know where I was - "Go downhill, find water and follow it downstream. Just keep walking." Yes, I know, the experts say, 
"Stay where you are," but use some sense and if you figure that there must be some road or home within a few miles and you aren't hurt - well, start walking.
Today, though, we are nowhere near lost.  On this hilltop, we are never more than fifty feet from any known path. 
If we did feel disoriented we could always follow an animal trail . . . I believe all of them lead toward my yard where there is usually something tasty from sunflower seeds to food in the compost pile to a new shoot on an azalea bush.  (You did notice that Zebra swallowtail butterfly, didn't you?) We're (I'm) probably talking too much to see any critters besides birds and bugs but that's alright, we'll just keep moving toward home.

There are so many violets in this part of the woods, two kinds of yellow, Downie and Smooth;  a white one and some purple ones. I am not sure of the type of white ones.   The photo on the right shows a white one and a yellow growing right together. I often dig some up to move into my garden.  the white ones seem to last only a few years before disappearing.  The yellow ones do fine, though.  They grow wild just beyond my garden fence.  Look at this beauty below.
I hope that I can find it again.  I'm not digging it up because there is just one.  It is probably a mutation or "break" in the tiny bulblet. I wonder if its offspring will also be striped? Maybe it is Viola canadensis  which the books describe as, "sometimes streaked with purple," though none of the images I have seen show anything like this one before us.
As we come out of the woods onto our field we see a sky churning, threatening to storm though it will probably hold off a few more hours. For now, the sun seems to have the upper hand.
We turn toward my garden to see the breaking sun reflect off my new bottle tree.  

It has been two weeks since we took that walk.  The dogwoods have lost their bloom. 
I miss them now and though only a couple weeks have passed, spring has become only a cherished memory here in the Ohio valley.  
Oh well. Good-bye Spring, Hello Summer. I'll enjoy each for what it gives.
See that 3rd advertisement for the violet seed paper?  Wouldn't it be fun to put a sheet of those in all the cards we send? Though I do remember a lady that hated violets - poor woman.)


Sandra said...

I loved our walk, and i did not feel lost at all, i saw all the flowers and butterflies and LOVED your bottle tree, what a great idea. do the birds perch on it? all the violets i ever tried to grow died within just a few weeks of my purchase or a gift the was given. the paper is a great idea. i got a book mark of wild flower seeds once and thought that was a good idea.
you are so right, i learn so much from my blog friends and learn something new every day

RedPat said...

Another thoroughly enjoyable walk through the woods. Thanks!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

A lovely post on a walk in the woods...something I have yet to do this year because it's been so soggy, or else I've been engrossed in my own garden! I've enjoyed this post.

jennyfreckles said...

Lovely to join you on a ramble on your home turf. What a lot to see and enjoy.

NCmountainwoman said...

Great post. I loved every step of the walk.

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

That was a beautiful walk. thanks !

Jennifer and Steve said...

Beautiful spring happenings there. LOVE your bottle tree! :)

Jesse said...

spring is over there. its just beginning here, but it will be over soon too.