It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new.
And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.
~ Lauren Oliver
Yesterday was perfect for hiking. It was one of those amazing autumn days with a deep, blue sky, lots of sunshine, and pleasantly cool temperatures.
M and I decided to put aside the work here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch and go explore Pocomoke River State Park. It’s not too far from us, and I have been clamoring to go because they have trails through the swamp areas where the Bald Cypress trees grow.
In his book, “Nature-Speak,” Ted Andrews writes that one of the keynotes of the Cypress tree is finding comfort in the home. The Bald Cypress is a classic tree of southern swamps, and they are native from Maryland and south along the eastern coast, and west to Texas. With the right soil, it has been known to do well as far north as Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The first time I met a Bald Cypress was at the Holden Arboretum in Ohio in 2011. We were late for the autumn leaf peeping show, and just about the only tree left with color was the Bald Cypress. It is a deciduous conifer, and its leaves change color in the fall. I brought you a couple of photos from that encounter because the Bald Cypress trees here on the Eastern Shore are just beginning to show some color and don’t yet have the brilliance of the trees I met at the arboretum two years ago.
Although Bald Cypress trees grow well in Ohio, one thing I did not see were the “knees” which occur only near water. Nobody knows exactly what the “knees” are for, but it is speculated that it is a way for the roots to obtain oxygen.
The Trail of Change in the Pocomoke River State Park is an easy hike that leads you through old growth forest that was once farmland, and into the cypress swamp. It is a one mile, self-guided trail where you can learn how the forest has adapted and changed with time, and through the activities of the human inhabitants of the area.
One source claims “pocomoke” means dark or black water. The photo I posted yesterday is a good example of how dark the water appears. Another source proposes “pocomoke” is derived from a word meaning pierced or broken land. Whatever the case, the Pocomoke River is 66 miles long, and the upper part of the river rises from and flows through the Great Cypress Swamp in Delaware, eventually making its way to Pocomoke Sound where it enters the Chesapeake Bay between Maryland and Virginia.
We all travel the milky way together, trees and men . . . trees are travellers, in the ordinary sense. They make journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true: but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings — many of them not so much.
~ John Muir
I’ll have more from the hike tomorrow or sometime this week. Things are revving up around the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. The cabinets for the kitchen are due to arrive November 1. Before and after that, true chaos will rule the roost while we demo the kitchen, and get everything ready for the new cabinets and new counter tops. In between the work and the chaos, I’m sure I’ll want to return to the woods and the swamp, even if it’s a virtual walk through the photos I took.
Thanks for stopping by, and joining me on part of my walk on the Trail of Change. (That made me chuckle for some reason. Seems like Trail of Change is a good metaphor for life, particularly my life lately.)
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. :)