But we shouldn’t be concerned about trees purely for material reasons, we should also care about them because of the little puzzles and wonders they present us with. Under the canopy of the trees, daily dramas and moving love stories are played out. Here is the last remaining piece of Nature, right on our doorstep, where adventures are to be experienced and secrets discovered. And who knows, perhaps one day the language of trees will eventually be deciphered, giving us the raw material for further amazing stories. Until then, when you take your next walk in the forest, give free rein to your imagination-in many cases, what you imagine is not so far removed from reality, after all!
~ Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees
It looks like they had a pretty autumn in the Bogs. Ours has been pretty, too, but after a slow start it has been speeding by with the sudden turn of the leaves last week. It’s as if autumn was trying to fit that stage into a few days time. Once the leaves changed colors, they started flying.
Then again, there are areas where the leaves are barely showing any color or any inclination to leave the branches of the trees. M and I went to Janes Island State Park for a hike on Saturday and there were hardly any autumn colors to be seen in the woods. It was surprising. I’m not sure if it’s the proximity to the water that accounts for it or not. The leaves here on the ranch are changing (and flying off with the wind) even though we are close to the water. Maybe it’s that there are more trees in the forest on Janes Island, protecting each other from the change of seasons.
Weather-wise, it’s been a strange year. The plants aren’t sure what to do about it. Some of the trees put out new, spring-green leaves. Flowers continue to bloom. The flower garden feels odd and out of place right now with the flowers blooming and the usual flower visitors gone. The occasional bee or butterfly do show up, but it’s not nearly as busy as usual out there. It almost seems like a waste of good flowers. Except it’s not. We are still here to enjoy them.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that M and I also went out for a boat ride this weekend. M wanted to go once more before putting his toy away for the winter months. He planned the trip with me in mind so of course I didn’t say no to going along. We went out on the Pocomoke River near one of the main bald cypress swamps to look at the trees from out on the water. It was a gorgeous day, I took a ton of photos, and I’ll share all that with you after I clear some space on my computer so that I’ll be able to upload the photos.
Meanwhile, back at Janes Island State Park, the trail we took is called the White-Tail Trail. It’s an easy walk through parts of and around the perimeter of the wooded area. You can make the hike longer by exploring the fire trails or going out by the canal and meandering around there.
I recently read an article about crown shyness in trees. Have you heard of it? It’s when the tops of the individual trees in the canopy don’t touch. I’ve seen the phenomenon, but didn’t realize it has a name. I should know that scientists and naturalists have names for pretty much everything.
There are a number of theories about why it happens. One theory involves light and photosynthesis. The trees, in a sense, make an agreement to share the light and they honor it by not overlapping and touching each other.
Another theory is that the trees practice a kind of reciprocal pruning in areas where there is a lot of wind. As the tree branches knock into each other, branches fall and that opens up space in the canopy between the trees. Whatever the reason, it’s interesting to look at, especially in photos where you can see what some refer to as a “backlit jigsaw puzzle effect.” (That’s attributed to the Smithsonian in a couple of articles, but I can’t find the actual source.)
Saturday was a beautiful day for a hike. It was windy, but clear and sunny. A perfect day to spend in the woods.
Forest air is the epitome of healthy air. People who want to take a deep breath of fresh air or engage in physical activity in a particularly agreeable atmosphere step out into the forest. There’s every reason to do so. The air truly is considerably cleaner under the trees, because the trees act as huge air filters. Their leaves and needles hang in a steady breeze, catching large and small particles as they float by. Per year and square mile this can amount to 20,000 tons of material. Trees trap so much because their canopy presents such a large surface area.
~ Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees
Thank you for stopping by and joining me on another meander today. It is dark and rainy today so I don’t think it’s likely we’ll see the sunset. With the time change over the weekend, sunset has moved to 5:01 PM. I’ll keep an eye out and if it looks good, meet you at the Point. Sometimes rainy days bring us magnificent sunsets.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂 And, if you’re in the U.S. and you haven’t done so already, please vote tomorrow.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 926) A walk in the rain. It’s fairly warm here today so I didn’t mind getting wet. 927) Splashing in puddles. Because I can. 928) Falling back. I like it when it’s light in the early morning hours (since I’m awake and up during the early morning hours). I also enjoyed that extra hour being returned to me. I wouldn’t mind, though, if we just stopped fussing with the time and leave it as is rather than springing forward and falling back. 929) Stewed apples with walnuts and cinnamon for breakfast. 930) Learning about crown shyness. Now I know a tiny bit more about trees.