Some Mondays we’re forced to stay home and complete chores. And so it was today.
But, one item on our list included a mid-afternoon trip to Holt Pond, where we did some trail maintenance on the Southern Shore Trail.
A couple of blow downs and some stray branches required our attention.
So did nature’s art work, visible on a nearby boardwalk.
While I did a wee bit of labor, I constantly scanned the landscape for things like this birch polypore garden.
Viewed from below, it’s easy to see the pore surface.
A stump covered with deflated puffballs took me back to my childhood, when we used these as smoke bombs. I’ve lived a life well spent.
I’m not sure how I saw this one and I’m not sure my ID is correct, but I think it’s a stinkhorn. We were moving quickly, so I didn’t take time to sniff.
I loved this bouquet of Indian Pipes that have transformed from ghostly white pipes to their brown stick stage topped with handsome woody seedpods.
When we weren’t passing quietly under Hemlocks, we scrunched through shades of brown–certainly a feast for the eyes of those who create Crayola crayons and paint chips.
We paused briefly to look at the quaking bog across Holt Pond–a different point of view.
At last we reached our turn-around point in the field, which isn’t much of a field anymore. It’s a classic example of succession–an area where a disturbance (log landing) created an opening, which filled in with wildflowers that some would consider weeds. Shrubs and tree saplings have taken over and will soon create shade so the sun-dependent flowers will die back.
Though their stay here is short-lived, the flowers play a major role by decomposing and releasing nutrients that improve the soil for those that follow.
So sing your praises to the goldenrods
and Sweet-fern for the work they do to enhance the earth . . . and for their free-form structures–more of nature’s art work.
We relished this “chore” in the middle of our working Monday. And now to get that barn cleaned.