Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Cold Walk In The Snow, Photos by Amy

A visit from Amy usually includes a walk about with the camera in her hands.  It is interesting to see what catches her eye.  Here I saw a large number of patio stones that had absorbed sufficient heat from sun light to melt their snow cover.  Amy saw lichen and thyme growing on a snow framed stone.  Living color under the snow always amazes us.

A wide area of untouched snow was dotted brown.  The close view of the camera revealed seed pods adjacent to scattered seed.  A black birch tree is up wind of these seeds and may be the source.  We will leave them where they fell but will return to see if either the chipmunks or the red squirrel take advantage of this possibly sweet tasting food source.

Heat from sunlight falling on dark leaves or heat from life process itself has opened a hole in the snow cover over the arbutus.  Any walk outside includes a detour to check on these treasures.  Some tiny nibbler has been feeding on several of these leaves.  So far the damage is slight but we would like to know who feeds here.  A nearby edging flat rock is littered with hulled acorns but something smaller than a squirrel or chipmunk ate these leaves.

Sumac is considered by many to be a trash tree.  It does grow like a weed but its leaves are a source of beautiful fall color.  Its red seed clusters supply food for many birds.  Tracks in the snow seem to indicate a feast on a fallen cluster but only the small red bits could be found.  All of the tracks were made by birds leaving no clue about how all of this ended up on the ground.

Two walking trips up the driveway are made most days.  Unusual stones catch the eye and they are carried to the wall near the basement entrance.  None of these exotics are native here.  They were all carried a great distance from their points of origin by the last glacier.  We would like to be able to identify each stone by name and understand how it was formed but we are far from that knowledge.  Holes in the surface of a specimen may point toward limestone created by the coral growths in a ancient inland sea.  The yellow one's rough texture says sandstone but the water worn smooth surface of the others keeps their identities secret.

If one looks, their is always some natural wonder to be seen.  

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