Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Woods in tender spring green

A beautiful day in the Eastern woods. 
Flowers still on the ground. Birds on shore and in air. Butterflies among the treetops. Gentle wind. Old massive maples, young strong ashes. 


 Canada Mayflower on mossy rock

 Sneaking up on Blue heron in the marsh

Flaky lichen - smooth rock tripe.

 A wood's anemone - the one I named my blog after, the Vitsippa of Swedish woods covering the forest floor before the trees are leafing out.

Yellow birch

 Skunk cabbage and Spicebush by the brook

And a little violet I am hoping that Jackie Woodswalker in Saratoga can help me ID :)

Dwarf ginseng

We also performed some guerilla forestry of our own - pulling out barberry seedlings and sawing off this Burning bush, both nasty invasives that this fairly intact wood does not need. I should add that we were on private land, with permission. Although tempting, sawing off plants on public land whether invasive or not, is not recommended!

Then it was time to set the ropes. Today I got a chance to try a slingshot, which comes in handy when the lowest branch is 75 ft up.

A long ascent straight up

The little brook that entertained us the whole day

Scraggly, lichen-covered red maples and oaks around

One of the massive red maples nearby - most people have never seen them so big and so old.

Another slender white ash

Up among ash flowers and new tender leaves

Sea of green

Snuggling up like a koala along the trunk. The wind came swooshing in and we had to hold on.

Blue Hills reservation with soft mountains in the background.

Seeing this sea of green made photo synthesis almost tangible. Leaves eat sunshine. It felt like they were growing by every minute.

 Just a little bit more to climb. For every foot we ascended, the view changed. For every hour that went by, the sun angle was different.

Was it now that we heard the pileated woodpecker a couple of times? We waited for it to fly by but it chose another way. We also saw a mighty red-shouldered hawk with great banded tail soaring over us.

Afternoon light

Ash bark. We saw the bark in three different stages. The mature bark is a beautiful cross pattern, the medium aged bark is just beginning to peel, and the new branches are smooth with vertical lines.

 More south, the Emerald ash borer, an invasive species, is devastating ashes like this without any hope for a cure or treatment, but it hasn't come here yet.

Two very happy climbers with cameras!

 Reluctantly we eventually had to descend. On the ground the afternoon sun was setting.

Mapleleaf viburnum

 A rock, I thought. But it is just a moss-mound.


 A day to always remember.


  1. Oh my, you had quite an adventure! What fun to get up so high in the trees. I wish I could help you with that violet, but I would need to look at it more closely to offer an ID. Because it is a basal-leaved plant and the spur is rather chubby, it could be a Selkirk's (or Great-spurred) Violet, but I would have to check the inside. Selkirk's has no hair at all in there. Whatever kind it is, it sure is pretty!

  2. Your smile is big and shining!
    The moss-mound looks like a happy face, a profile happy-face.
    I love the photo from half-way up the tree, looking up to the top.