Because we’d spent most of the summer at camp and I barely stopped at home, I hadn’t visited my usual haunts in a while. Today, that changed.
Into the woodlot I ventured, where green pine cones oozing with sap decorated the forest floor.
The remains of those serving as sustenance also lent a bit of color from the center cobs and deseeded scales left behind by red squirrels.
Most of the Indian pipes were past prime, but they remained beautiful with their flowers turned upright since being fertilized.
The same was true for pine sap, which supported more than one flowerhead per stalk.
Emerging from the cowpath onto the power line, I found conditions to be as expected–anywhere I’ve traveled past such a line this summer, I’ve noticed that Central Maine Power has sprayed. I shouldn’t complain for I depend on that power and understand the need to keep the trees cleared, but it does make my heart cry for all that is lost.
My sundews were among those that had suffered, brown and shriveled were they.
The white pines took a beating as well, but the juniper continued to grow and produce a bounty of fruits.
As I walked, the air buzzed with a chorus of cicadas,
A visit to the vernal pool was a must, and in true vp form all was dry, but from the bottom new life sprang forth in the form of red maple . . .
and quaking aspen seedlings. It’s worth a try on their part, but I suspect they’ll be short-lived for soon enough the pool will begin to fill with water from late summer, fall and winter storms yet to be.
Speaking of fall, some red maples had already stopped producing sugar, thus the chlorophyll disappeared and anthocyanin formed–evident in the red hue.
I found some other color in a small blue jay feather. I only saw two and didn’t think much of it, until . . .
I passed by an old stump and did a double take. It appeared a young jay had served as a feast.
My next stop was the field, reached by passing through the two stonewalls that demark the boundary of our extended property. The field belongs to our neighbors’ parents and they recently had it bush hogged. At the western most end stood a fine example of forest succession, from mowed area to wildflowers and shrubs to saplings and finally the forest beyond.
Among the flowers at the edge I found one I hadn’t met before–small-flowered gerardia with delicate, hairy petals and needle-like green leaves bordered in their own shade of purple.
Being Sunday, it seemed apropos that the steeplebush reached heavenward.
As I continued to look around, a meadowhawk flitted about, pausing occasionally.
I knew if I stood still long enough, it would get curious and let me approach.
And I was right.
At last it was time to head in. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.