Posts Tagged ‘trees’

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Peak Color in the Back Woods

October 26, 2009

There are still a few trees holding on to their green.  But by the time they turn color most other trees will have dropped.  There are also several bare trees in the woods even now.

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Back woods 1

Yellow Buckeye

backwoods 2

Wood pile

Hives

Peak

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Wednesday’s Woodland Walk #7

July 22, 2009

Swamp

Gnarled Tree

Gnarled Tree


Spires

Like Cypress knees, but moss

Bog

Are they dancing?

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My Hobby, TREES

May 20, 2009

It’s not a very big thing.  At least not now, maybe in a hundred years or so.  I adore trees.  Native trees.  The Wife can vouch for me.  I was stratifying seeds in her refrigerator twenty years ago.  Then an entire fridge drawer filled with soil & seeds from November to April.  Of course the soil could not be used for stratification until  I sterilized it.  Into the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Have you ever cooked dirt.  Guess what that smells like?  I did this each year for many years.  Now days I just keep a handful of seeds in the fridge if necessary.

Oh, and there were the flower boxes filled with hundreds of seedlings.  In the windows, all the windows, INSIDE the apartment from February on.  All trees never flowers.  Plus, there was only one table in the basement next to the washer & dryer.  It, of course, was used for my seed propagation chamber.  Laundry had to come upstairs to be folded.  All two flights.

That apartment and subsequent houses have many great trees in their yards.  Now I work on this house and it’s woods.

I know The Wife loves me, not because she puts up with me but because she hasn’t killed me, yet.  What a Doll!

These days I take it easy on her.  Stratifying, propagation, & first years growth all happen outside.  On her deck.  Hey! it’s some progress!  You wouldn’t want wee critters getting at my trees now would you?

Last year I collected about 1000 River Birch (Betula nigra) seeds and put them in a pot with soil.  Watered them every day and Got 30 plus trees out of it.  River Birch have notoriously poor germination.  All of which I planted out into my back woods where Winter snows brought down several weak trees.

Snow Lost Tree

Except for the smallest one which volunteered to be a off-center Bonsai.

Birch Bonsai

This year I’ve collected Sweet Birch (Betula lenta) & Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

Sweet Birch

To date 13 have germinated.  If you click on the image below you can count their tiny little leaves.

Sweet Birch

Sycamore

I sowed several thousand and maybe a few hundred came up.

Sycamore

Sycamore becomes a very large tree.  I’ll plant them along side the creek down in the woods.  If I plant 50 maybe 10 will reach maturity.  I have no idea what to do with the rest.  I guess there may be several Drive-by-tree-plantings in peoples yards.  The local park needs some more trees I’ve heard.

I may only get a few dozen Sweet Birch.  All of them have homes out back.

I’ll hope to get some Yellow Birch (Betula Allegheniensis) this year as well.  I’ll keep you posted.  I tried to get American Elm (Ulmus americana) but I missed seed drop.  Now I need to hunt for new seedlings if I hope to get any.

The Goal? you ask.  Well the back woods was being regularly grazed by cattle thirty years ago.  That’s when the land owner cut it down before selling it to developers; hence the handful of houses on this road.  The current forest stand is young with only moderate diversity.  My Goal is to have every tree native to this area present in these woods.  The list may include a hundred tree species or so.  I’m still compiling it.  Also Native rhododendrons, azaleas, & mountain laurels are included.  The Wife, bless her soul, is helping me to include herbaceous species as well.  When I’m finished I hope not to be able to see any farther than 20 feet when standing out back.

So I like to watch trees grow..I never said I was Mister Excitement.  A hammock stretched between two trees can keep me busy all day.

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Time

August 17, 2008

Bury acorns in the soil

When pictures were black and white

Now your age in moss

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Wednesdays Woodland Walk

August 14, 2008

Ξ

(Click image to enlarge)

Just a tulip tree with a knot in it…

But wait!  There’s more…

I’m just a little black rain cloud…

Ξ

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Dead Trees

December 22, 2007

animism

Pronunciation: \’a-nə-,mi-zəm\

Function: noun

Etymology: German Animismus, from Latin anima soul

Date: 1832

1 : a doctrine that the vital principle of organic development is immaterial spirit

2 : attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects

3 : belief in the existence of spirits separable from bodies

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The evil in the trees

Is really the insanity in the mans mind

The insanity in his mind perverts the mans life

The perverse life that crawls out into the woods

And becomes the evil in the trees

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I hate the woods at night. They scare the hell out of me. I know there is something is inside of them, something dreadful. I can stand just outside the woodline of a woods looking in at the shadows and silhouettes of the trees. Though I see that nothing is moving, my heart tells me that there is a presence just beyond my vision. My mind screams to me that one of the shadows is alive, malevolent, perverted, and hungry. Instantly I become aware of what a Junco must feels after when its eyes trace out the form of a Coopers hawk from low in a near by tree. At that moment My face grows flushes as hot waves of fear crash into me. Sometimes my muscles seize Left paralyzed as the panic consumes me I become a statue; though my blood boils.  I praying that my stillness will masks my presence and keeps the predator from charging pouncing. At other times Sometimes, though rarely, I have marshal enough courage left to turn and walk away without looking back, terrified.

Obviously, I can never enter the woods at night if alone; if I am in the company of friends I might, but never alone.It is ironic too since I spend so much time alone in the woods during the day.I would be incomplete without the forest.However, night happens, and it happens occasionally while I am out there.Again, if I am with my friends, terror does not strike me, caution does.As long as I stay with the group and do not let myself become separated, I am safe.To me there is strength in numbers.

Please do not ask me what I think is out there because I do not know.I do know, however, that it stands just beyond the limit of my night vision, or crouches behind a bush where even moonlight can not reach.Waiting to pounce.It follows me when I am out there.It waits,…waits to find me alone and not paying attention, which I will never let happen.I may not be able to see it, but I know exactly where it is standing.I can feel its gaze upon my Soul.

Maybe this feeling of mine is just a remnant of ancient instincts that were meant to protect us from ancient predators.If so then horror should confront me during the day as well.Surely ancient man was at risk from predators any time he left the protection of the clan.Yet, this feeling of mine does not act to split my attention during the day.It belongs strictly to the night, the night in the woods.

Yet, oddly, one night something happened.After years of guarding myself from this Evil lurking fate that roams through dark woods, I did what I always thought impossible.After staring for an hour into woods I was only familiar with during the day, I entered them, at night, and alone.This was not just any night, but a dead night.Winter had settled in and nothing that lived was in those woods,…except me, and all things that do not live.

A wet snow was trying to bury the Earth, but I had dressed for it.Many lose layers of clothing kept me warm.I wore a wide-rimmed leather hat to keep my head dry.The snow was covering all of the days animal tracks, including mine as I made them.If I stood still long enough, all evidence of my having walked through the area would vanish.No matter where I went, it looked like I had never been there.The snow was also piling up on the tops of tree limbs as well as my shoulders and hat.I felt as if the night wanted me to become part of it.It is no wonder why I felt a little less human that night.

Before I walked into those woods, my personality had already begun to change.I know now that it was changing into something strange, old, and predaceous.I wanted to find my demon, hunt him down, challenge him, force him to strike me.If he could draw my blood, then he was real.I would know that some fears should never be pushed.When, however, his strike caused me no pain, nor drew my blood, would his power over me be betrayed.I would no longer fear this demon or his woodland domain.

Yet I wanted more than just a release from fear.I wanted revenge for all of the fears that had ever victimized me.My confidence was waxing.It occurred to me that if my demon proved to be weaker than I, that with vengeanced-spite I would harm and hurt him beyond the degree that he had damaged me.This was my plan, regardless of what I may be forced to suffer, the haunting would cease.

The sky was closed-off by the clouds of a winter’s storm.The light pollution from town made the night sky ash-grey. The millions of gorged snow flakes falling through the air consumed all sound.The only remaining noise was my breath wheezing past my ice-covered lips, and my heart beating as loud as a calving glacier.All I could see were the boles of the sleeping trees, their silhouettes seeping out of the ground and spilling into the night.It was as if the night had rooted itself to the earth.

So I entered, and not as cautious as usual. Instead of scanning for the reflection of carnivorous eyes, my signal to flee, I just walked forward with raised brow, as easy prey.Baiting its hunger.

After several minutes, I stopped beneath a small tree. I scanned all around the woods with my eyes, and saw only night.A few areas that seemed dark enough to conceal my demon I openly investigated.He was not there, just night, trees, and snow, so I continued marching through the dark woods.

I made my way by marching between the gaps in the trees.For there are no paths where people never walk.This went slowly.One step, wait as bait.Another step and search for movement.When I came up to the thicket I did not stop.Not now.I simply crouched down on all fours, then continued hunting.Under the brush.Like an animal.Hidden by the night.

When I came to a low, flat area something began to growl ahead of me.I became as still as a rock, except for my head which mechanically pivoted towards the sound.I stopped breathing and calmed my heart to hear better.It then called out with a low muffled bark, though more like a menacing gruff. I could hear the dog pulling its chain trying to break free so it could engage me.

I remained still, and thought of what the dogs owner might see when he looked outside his window.From the sound of it, the dog would be standing on its haunches against the pull of the chain, barking and pawing at the air towards the black woods.I am sure the hair on the back of the dog’s neck would be standing straight up as well.What effect this would have on the owner I did not know, nor did I stay to find out.

Out of the thicket, and once again on my feet, I was now headed towards what was the deepest part of the woods. It was a place I had never been to before, not by day nor with my friends. Seeing only in grey and mostly black, waiting for something to reach out and gut me, I alone would enter this area for the first time.

And still I walked. In dead silence. Except for the snowy crunch of my footfalls and my fear laden breath

As I openly crossed the Natural Gas line into the unfamiliar woods, I again felt different.Besides what affect the snow and the night had on my mind, the dog had aided in making me feel like a true denizen of these woods.My fear was slowly ebbing away as my interest, for this night-shrouded woods, climbed.I was becoming comfortable in the dark veil that was these woods.

Near the center of these deeper woods, I came upon what was left of an old forgotten house. Only its foundation remained standing. Encompassing it were the old trees that had once been part of the house’s external grace, but now were decrepit and venerable in appearance.

Hung from those trees like a spider’s web made from thick steel cable, was grape vine.Its giant knotted mass undulated its way beneath the snow, attacking every tree like cancer.Young trees stood mummified by tendrils while older trees had entire limbs torn from their trunk by the weight of the vine.Near its heart, and like a black candelabra, its eight inch diameter arms climbed skyward into the ugly trees.The vine set upon the woods even though it was winter, a time when trees and vines should be asleep.

Looking at this vine, I somehow felt it was alive, sentient, and aware of my presence.Without fear, but with awe, I walked into its space and began to examine it, to see if it was real.I pulled off my gloves and stuffed them under the epaulet of my jacket.Touching the vine, it was cold, stable and rough.I impulsively climbed onto a lower arm of the vine; it held my weight well. I spotted above me where two arms were narrowly crossed, and began climbing up to them.Only a trace coating of snow had found its way onto the vines, so climbing was easy.When I had gone high enough, I straddled both vines with my legs.Then sitting, I leaned back into the crossed arms of the vines. It was much like a natural hammock. I put my gloves back on before folding my arms over my chest.In this way my silhouette sank into the form of the vine and trees.

From my perch I saw no demon in the woods below me.I felt no fear from the night surrounding me.I recognized no existence of malice or death.All that I could perceive were the vines, the woods, night, snowstorm, myself, and silence.All of us alive and sharing in an intimate peace.Communion.If there was a demon, then he was not interested in me that evening.Everything in the woods made sense to me now.I knew what was behind the trees because I had been there myself, and found nothing.At that point I did not know if the woods belonged to me or if I belonged to the woods.Whichever it was, I felt good, like something that is natural and instinctual, and is just always suppose to happen.

I remained on my perch, staying as still as the trees, watching the storm blanket us in snow.

Later, while still cradled in the arms of my vine, I mused to myself about a group of deer that might wander into this area.They would not sense me; of course I would be part of the night, a section of vine.The deer could scratch through the snowand begin to browse. I could watch, long, and in silence.Or, while staring directly at one, I could whisper a small unnatural hiss through my lips.Of course the deer would immediately raise its head, stop chewing, and freeze in movement.Its eyes would quickly scan the woods for the threat, while its heart began to pound a little harder.Its instincts would tell it that something unseen was watching it.Something that could be hiding in the shadows behind the trees.Something dreadful.

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Standing on a Block

November 23, 2007

Standing
Standing still
Still in the forest
In the forest looking down
Down at my feet
At my feet feathers
Feathers from a hawk
Primaries, tail, many
Many feathers beside a Beech tree
A Beech tree with a hole
A hole filled with the remains
Remains of a Red-Shouldered Hawk
Kneeling
Kneeling near a different tree
A different tree with another hole
A hole in the base
The base filled with leaves
Leaves covered in blood
Blood dripping
Dripping from higher inside the tree
The Owls tree

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Hidden Paintings in the Night

November 14, 2007

Anointed by droplets
Just after rainfall
While passing through a woods
Blackened by the early morning
Too recently roused from slumber
I am onto the habitual errand
Approaching the river
To cross the trestle bridge
Illuminated by its lone
Sodium arc lamp

Drip
AWAKE

Drop
AWARE

Time Stops
I am halted
By a gift on the trail
And still the trees
Anoint me with water
As I look toward the bridge
I see the light
Shining back at me
Through the trees
Just after rainfall
A million black silhouetted leaves
Laced in a billion diamond drops
Scintillating in gold from the lone
Sodium arc lamp
All I hear is the passing river
And leaf drops kissing the ground
Drops that channel down my brow
As I stand beholden to grace
While breathing the morning air
God so recently exhaled
When making on this ground
A Shrine to the Night

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Leaves

November 1, 2007

Alone atop my Tree

The Moonlight and I

The arms that hold me

Monolith to the Sky

-Worship-

My color stripped

All friends gone

My swan song

Fall

-Farewell-

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Heart Wood

November 1, 2007

Alone on the Path

Isolated under the expanse of the forest

Freed from the Past

Left only with Today

Trudging through the trees

The trees that count the years in rings

That today’s leaves breath life into

-Living AS Time-

Callus to anything under a decade

Yet, capturing each moment in the fiber of its being

Deep in the heartwood lies the seedling still

Avatar of youth now long dead

Birth its only contribution

To that which now stands

Where neither storm nor hand has touched

Embracing its youth

With mature resolve

To never release its sound wood

Which gives to the tree strength

 

Yet I scurry by

-Consuming Time-

Walking where only today’s Sun shines

Releasing the Past as a matter of survival

Living the Future a day at a time

Absorbing from the Now what I can

Expelling the rest into the Past

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From the Seed

October 30, 2007

Each moment

-Adds a leaf to the tree

Ever growing

-In height and girth.

Flowering in joy

-To mark discovery

Branching out

-In new perspectives

Autumn colors

-Covenant to wisdom

Solace of the soul

-In winters sleep

Seed laden fruit

-Propagation of success

Strength through adversity

-Rings around the heart

Anchored in truth

-Moss covered roots

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