You may be surprised to know that today I went for a walk in the woods.
Here in southern Minnesota, we are waiting with bated breath for tomorrow’s weather. I’m literally holding my breath right now. Tomorrow, truly a SUPER TUESDAY, should reach 55°F. We haven’t seen this kind of weather since, well, January. (Which is unreal for Minnesota, by the way.) I watched snow drip off the eaves all day and the wind blow somehow-still-powdery bursts of snow off the trees, re-transforming the landscape after yesterday’s surprise dusting.
Today’s post is a little about warped trees. My dad and I were remarking on all the strange habits trees take on in order to find a little bit of light to grow in. I noticed many contorted and strangely thickened trunks, decaying bark, limbs growing in what seemed like an unwisely close association with others.
1. The zen black walnut.
2. Maple samaras
3. A small clearing
(4) Some of those famous wonky branches and (5) Mossy moss
6. Does anybody out there happen to know what is responsible for this bright red color in this chunk of sapwood (or whatever)?
7. These are the little stalks that bear sweet cicely seeds. I think they look like one of those outdoor clothes racks.
8. I love this tree and its overarching, strongly horizontal branches.
(9) A view of a tree with one trunk largely bare of bark and (10) that same tree, looking up. I like how gnarled it is.
11. This little stand of nettle caught my eye with the light glowing through the leaves.
(12) One of the wood nettle leaves and (13) Some lanceleaf figwort.
14. A closer view of the wood nettle.
(15) A strangely thickened trunk (ash, I think) and (16) Buckthorn fruit.
17. Closeup of some rather distressed-looking buckthorn.
18. My niece and nephew's old fort.
(19) Strange growth we've been seeing on many trees and (20) Rockin' oak (I think) that's bent over the hillside like a snake ready to STRIKE YOU.
21. Same oak as in the above picture; the angle of these limbs is pretty crazy, eh?