Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mid-Spring Woods

The woodland canopy is rapidly closing and it won’t be long before sunlight is completely blocked from this area. Many of the early spring flowers are producing seed and preparing to go dormant until next spring. Others are actively catching the last of the available sunlight.

The leaves lend a softness and closeness to what was recently a bright, open landscape. The odd curves and bends of the tree trunks are gradually being hidden from view.

The leaves are becoming a buffer to the noises of the countryside. Instead of the rattle of a down-shifting semi on the distant highway, I can enjoy the song of an Ovenbird hopping along a downed tree trunk.

In the sun dappled shadows, fallen trees will take on the guise of friendly understory structure, instead of looking like the remnants of some disaster.

Scarlet Tanagers normally nest in this part of the woods. The fallen logs make wonderful seats from which you can watch the red blurs criss-cross the canopy gathering food for the nestlings.

The stands of Mayapples have been increasing their population each year since I bought the property. They’ve always been one of my favorite woodland plants and I love to see them carpeting the woodland floor.


  1. What a wonderful place. It must bring you such comfort, joy, and wonder. ~karen

  2. Oh, I miss the mayapples from Ohio. I once knew a WWII Army Ranger and he always asked me to collect mayapples and pawpaws for him. I'm kicking myself now for never trying the mayapples before I moved back to CA. They smelled just like Jolly Rancher apple candy.