Monday, August 26, 2013
When new owners moved into the house built adjacent to our wild land, they were troubled by the water that ran down the joint lane and then across their lawn. Wishing to establish a harmonious neighborly relationship with these new neighbors, I diverted the water into my woods. It did not take long to see that a result of my efforts was a deep deposit of fine woodland soil that used to be in the neighbor's woods. Every year I remove several loads of this water sorted forest floor. It is one component of the potting soil that is mixed here. Dark and rich beyond description it is a wonderful soil amendment. If I live long enough, the neighbor's hill will have been moved to my gardens.
Fallen leaves are collected and mixed with the water deposited forest soil. This spotted salamander had made its home under the layer of old leaves. These are the salamanders that have the bizarre night time mating ritual that takes place in our pond each Spring. This specimen likely started its life in our pond this year. We have seen adults that measured nearly one foot in length. Following the picture the salamander was tucked under the leaf litter next to a large rock.
Our pond is fairly close to the site where we mine woods dirt so we thought that we would check in on the ground nuts. They have been able to establish themselves despite the intense competition from the other plants growing on the pond dike. The smell of the flowers smacked my nose while I was still some distance away. The ground nuts climb right up the goldenrod stalks. Both will likely survive and that outcome is just fine with us.
These flowers were more out in the open but the picture only suggests their structure. They deserve a closer look.