In my post from earlier today I ended with a picture of the the little stream from our bowl-shaped yard spilling down into the ravine. So the path we normally take through the ravine down into the woods is slightly out of commission due to said stream, but you can certainly still get down to the woods by wandering alongside the path and venturing up into the hillside ever so slightly. That’s what I did today during my little picture expo. I paused here and there alongside the new little stream to get pictures of teeny, tiny waterfalls and the odd submerged leaf and all that kind of crap I like. Everything looked so appealing because it rained from late yesterday evening into the wee hours of the morning, so everything got a good soaking and really brightened up. The woods looked so different from yesterday, it was crazy.
About halfway down the ravine — about the spot where my my niece and nephew’s little fort is, where I was still taking pictures of things two inches away from my nose — I finally noticed the sound of running water. This was thrilling, THRILLING I say, because it meant that either the stream in the other, bigger ravine that carries water from the culvert up at the top of the road was running, or it meant that much of the river had thawed and water was flowing more freely again. Turns out both were true!
As a reminder, this is what the woods looked like just a day ago.
(1) Semi-devoured Jack in the pulpit fruit and (2) my niece and nephew's fort with the logs in the leaves in the foreground having been carried down there from somewhere thanks to the rain we got last night.
3. Oak leaves: the prettiest ever.
(4) Cottonwood on hillside and (5) maple samaras (possibly from box elder?)
5. A tiny little pool in our former path/temporary stream
(6) Bubbles in the temporary stream and (7) Dig the yellow leaves still persisting in one of the trees
8. I love finding leaves from last season that have still retained a little green.
(9) I believe this is the "big" stream from the other ravine and (10) I dunno, but isn't this fruit pretty? Sure it is.
11. These are the long, long, big of roots of a tree that fell across our path down the ravine, and which my niece, nephew, and co. used as part of their fort.
12. One of the streams winds around a cottonwood towards the gully. MY gully.
13. Streams converging; to the left of the picture is that great big ring of cottonwoods that I love so. In the foreground, the little waterfall is falling into the gully where I've taken many a picture this season.
14. Some crazy color inside this rotting tree limb
15. You cottonwoods are so damn majestic.
16. Little fungal growths on a cottonwood branch
(17) The eye of SAURON on a wood nettle leaf and (18) our rapidly unfreezing river seen from our campsite
19. A lone little branch sticking up from the submerged sandbar
20. Faithful goldenrod at the edge of the bank
(21) Amber-colored water droplet and (22) bubbling stream
(23) Closeup of goldenrod and (24) Rattlesnake master (I think), both at the riverbank. The rattlesnake master picture is one of my favorites from the day.
25. A massive tangle of raspberry canes and wood nettle (the light leaves hanging in strips), among other things.
26. Raspberry canes and other branches
27. Curling vines = forever irresistible
28. Ditto glowing leaves
29. Ditto fallen, arching dark limbs
30. Oh hey, more goldenrod.
31. I forget what this is but it looks bad-ass.
33. Another favorite -- common figwort, if I remember right.
(34) A pin oak leaf standing at attention and (35) a fuzzy little sumac
36. Possibly fox grass with the opposite riverbank in the background
37. A tree that's been down for a while.
38. Deadly thistle foliage?
(39) looks like a tuber and (40) branch with many a bundle and bud scale scar
(41) No idea what this is but it almost looks kind of tropical to me; I only see it growing close to the river and (42) more possible thistle
43. Limbs that were, until very recently, embedded in ice
(44) Not sure what this is but I like the color and how the shoots look spilling out from a single node (maybe it's more nettle?) and (45) just some of my favorite trees in the background and the vegetation at the ever-eroding bank.
(46) and (47) lovely colorful leaves and stems hanging down from the ever-eroding bank
48. Some common mullein (all those sad-looking, thick leaves in the rosettes) and friends dejectedly sticking out of the riverbank
(48) holy crap that grass looks new and so bright and green and (49) dunno but hey, who cares, pretty
49. Part of what I enjoyed so much about the woods today is that -- while they're never exactly a neat and tidy affair -- everything was a little more delightfully chaotic than usual, with the meltwater carrying soil and plants and rocks all over the place to new temporary settlements and creating interesting juxtapositions
(50) These red stems remind me of those huge skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur. Tell me you see it too. And (51) just another shot of the river before it disappears north around the bend
52. A little black walnut afloat in a slightly discolored halo of froth
(53) Beautiful driftwood and (54) an unbelievably vivid root
55. Another mess of roots and trunks and limbs
(57) Another of those bright roots and (58) vaguely rainbowy common mullein leaf
59. Obligatory lichen, ultra-bright edition
60. This mess of broken bark and rootball apparently made a nice natural bowl for all of these black walnuts
61. Foamy streaks at the river's edge
62. Still more foamy streaks.
63. Batty leaves in downed tree
(64) Speckled root and (65) lichen on bark with figwort in backgruond
(65) The other riverbank and (66) I like the thin black edges on the ridges of this bark
67. Washed-up grass
(68) Gigantic mass of roots taller than me and (69) tree on the edge of our campsite wrapped in vines -- surprised it's still hanging on at the edge of the gully.
69. Just a lone pale leaf still hanging on to its tree.
(70) The stream thinning and (71) still more pale leaves
72. Broken-up ice plates
73. This moss is oooout of controlllll
74. A little wall of leaves in the bigger stream!
(75) Lichen on hackberry and (76) a little waterfall in the bigger stream!
77. The big stream thickens
78. Frozen clumps of leaves in the stream; they look like little beavers.
(79) Arching tree over the bigger stream and (80) the lovely metallic bark of awful dreaded buckthorn