The fallen tree seems to be a clear message – don’t try walking up the icy stream bed.
Never seen this stream completely frozen before.
Even listening very carefully, I could not hear the faintest burbling sound under the ice.
Even the places that look like water, are just clear pools of ice, on top of the milkier layers.
Boy, what a difference an hour makes.
I was looking at snapshots taken some time ago, on my cellphone.
I think both of these pictures are a bit awkward – –
but I also thought they were interesting, because of the change in atmosphere.
They were taken just a couple of yards from each other, same day, one hour apart.
The first picture looks “seasonal” and almost festive, nice red winterberries (thanks Linda & Steve for identifying!)
Reminds me of cranberries, which I love.
An hour later, the swamp presents quite a different aspect, kinda spooky.
Reminds me of a ham dinner with too much cranberry relish – a portrait of the atmosphere in my stomach.
The dark blobs on the dead trees in the background, just barely visible, are nests in a blue heron
BTW, a lot of people, none of them birders, have told me that herons kill off the trees they roost in.
I don’t know if herons seek out dead, mostly limbless trees, because they’re somewhat awkward fliers, and can’t navigate through branches, or if it’s true, what the old folks around here say, that by pooping on the trees day after day, they actually kill them off.
I’m not sure how that would be fatal, but it certainly seems like it would be discouraging.
I remember reading about a primitive tribe, that rather than trying to cut down trees, to clear a field for cultivation, would get up very early each morning, and whack the tree with a club, while yelling at it.
The theory was that the pre-dawn shock killed the tree.
I figure the tribespeople were eventually severing the phloem layer, girdling it, and that’s what killed the tree, but who knows.
Doesn’t it seem an awful lot like waking up to talk radio in the USA?
Caveman thinking & poo-flinging in a dismal swamp.
Heron excrement, Stone Age tree-clubbing, or paranoid rabble-rousers — may not be fatal, but it’s surely discouraging.
As one rookery tree said to another — all this crap just has to be taking years off our lives.
On a happier note, from the album “In My Tribe”
Here’s 10,000 Maniacs with Natalie Merchant “Like the Weather”
You know when you’ve reached the point of post-Thanksgiving saturation.
Walking near a beaver pond, and seeing turkey noodle soup.
And what looks like one stray cranberry.
Yesterday we walked by plantations of white pines and spruce, remnants of old apple orchards, lovely red sugar maples, beeches, hornbeams, and hophornbeams.
Those last two trees are pictured above.
Of the two, I prefer the hophornbeam.
I mean, who wants a hornbeam that just sits there?
I find it’s true that Nature abhors a vacuum – –
ambling along, pretty much totally vacant of thought,
so Nature provided a little wake-up call – –
two ruffed grouse, alway wiseguys, suddenly shot up,
like whirring rockets.
I’ve never gotten a picture of a grouse,
just a few minor heart attacks,
when they suddenly blast off,
three feet in front of my face.
We’d gone into a stretch of hemlocks, where it’s always a bit darker,
and getting along toward sundown,
so we’d decided to head back, while we could still see the trail.
But first we walked just a bit down the hill,
to listen to the creek,
and look at the tiny waterfalls.
And found a shrine-like assemblage of pebbles on the bank.
Little heart-shaped stones were tucked every which way into crevices.
I know, damn hippies.
This won’t gladden the hearts of most hikers I know,
who are fundamentally opposed to leaving any alteration or trace of human activity in the woods.
And humans being humans, they kinda overdid things,
maybe just a tad,
so it ended up looking like a Neolithic dump,
just after Valentine’s Day in the Stone Age.
But there were no beer cans, cigarette butts, or shell casings,
and to be honest,
I kind of got a kick out of this particular little display of weirdness.