What strange weather today. When I went for a mid-afternoon walk, it was overcast, about 42 degrees, and crazy windy. It’s windy out here a lot of the time, often unpleasantly so, but today the wind actually felt kind of warm. Not exactly a tropical breeze warm, but a warmth more on the side of spring than winter, anyway. What’s nice out here is the wooded, protected areas that block breeze; the ravine behind our house feels even more sheltered.
I spent a good deal of the walk alongside a little seasonal stream that carries water away from the road up at the top of the ravine. It’s been freezing and unfreezing the last couple of weeks — see some pictures I took here, when it was frozen — but today, the shallowest stretches, pretty much puddles, were thawed. Water started dripping down from the trees, and then it started dripping more, and then it started…RAINING! But it was barely dripping, so I stayed outside for another hour or so.
By the time I got back to the house the rain was coming down a little harder, and now it has turned into snow, as if to defy my expectations of what mid-February weather should look like. Point taken, weather gods.
1. My favorite new juxtaposition, new growth against old. It's been four or five days since my last walk down in the woods and there's about twice as many new little plants pushing their way up off the forest floor.
3. A depression filling with water just to the side of the stream; it seems to have the same beer-colored effect going on as what happens in the driveway….you can see pictures of that little phenomenon here.
4. As beerish as it may be, the color makes a nice backdrop to reflections of tree silhouettes, I think.
5. I believe these are Canadian nettle leaves, but I don't know what the stem belongs to. I like the reddish pink tinge and the lenticels.
7. Toothy poplar?
8. Tree reflections in the temporary stream.
9. One of the frozen parts of the stream's surface.
11. Whee, a little berry!
12. It's always fun to find an old dead leaf that has retained some of its green color.
13. Pin oak leaf in the stream.
15. The world's tiniest whirlpool?
16. Hopefully you see my message in the bubbles.
17. Black walnut shells
18. Sad/funky old Dr. Pepper can
19. Underside of can.
20. Prominent mid rib of leaf.
24. Favorite juxtaposition part 2
25. Little clump of moss with both sporophyte and gametophyte!
28. That's new green growth you see at the base of this stem. It's one of perhaps half a dozen plants I've noticed that are already producing new growth. Unfortunately I'm not sure what this is.
31. Some odd little fungal growth that I've been noticing on the undersides of many a branch. They seem to be getting larger and whiter.
32. Virginia creeper?
33. Interestingly-colored strip of bark.
34. Partially-eaten leaf.
35. Sweet cicely seeds.
36. These little growths are utterly mysterious to me...they're these masses of what look like unfurled leaves or seed capsules or something, glommed together with this silky, fluffy stuff. I saw them on several different trees but never before this walk.
37. Part of the above-mentioned structure. These look like the underside of a flower's sepals or something.
38. Lovely lichen.
39. Bear floss?
40. Closeup of one of the logs that comprises the fort my niece, nephew, and friends built down in the woods.