Saturday, November 1, 2008
Off the Beaten Path
Yesterday was a perfect fall day. It was cold and frosty in the morning, but the sun warmed things up to make being outside a real pleasure. Ed got out his tractor and wagon and went to play in the stones and dirt. I took a walk off the beaten path.
One nice thing about an early fall snow is that it compresses the vegetation making a little off trail walking possible. The bed straw that was up to my waist before is now a spongy carpet under foot. The goldenrod is no longer up to my shoulders making walking much easier. I headed over to one of our wild unspoiled areas. The picture is lichen and moss. The lichen is fascinating in that it is hard and brittle when dry, but soft when wet. The moss is soft and green, one of many kinds that grow here. I would be the first to admit that I know very little about these plants. They grow all over the gravel bank hill.
I trudged on and discovered a bluebird box that had fallen. It has been rescued and is now sitting atop a stone wall to dry out. Bluebird nest renovations will have to go on the list of things to do.
Over close to the fence line is the balsam fir we planted when we first bought this land. Ed dug a gigantic hole and we planted the tree next to a path. Ed carried water to this one too. We had little experience planting trees. It soon became apparent that a path means deer walk by. Unfortunately Bucky found our beautiful balsam perfect to rub the velvet off his antlers.Perhaps he thought balsam scented antlers are a turn on. We were sure the tree would die, but it recovered and there it still stands. It's hardly ready to be pictured in the nursery catalog, but it's alive and it's fragrant needles are a delight. I broke off a small piece and put it in my pocket to take back to the house. I love the aroma.
As I headed back to the house, I stopped by an old pile of stones made years ago when the farmer piled them up to clear his field. I chose a stone I liked from this treasure trove and carried it back to the area where Ed was working. Perhaps it will find a place in the wall.