This lovely tree trunk caught my eye in Myakka River State Park. So many different lichen, colliding is a wonderful expression of color. ❧
Having dominion over the land and sea is not an easy task and recent history will call to question whether we are doing a good job of things. As for me, I do my best to keep things in order here on my little acre on Fawn Hill. Today that included trimming dead branches and leaves from the apple trees. The late frost of last April took its toll but, fortunately, not all the fruit. This year’s bounty will be no where near last year’s but there will still be plenty. There is evidence the deer are already enjoying the fruit of my apple trees. I’m glad. ❧
Today, dear readers, I present another collage because sometimes just one picture isn’t enough. We are also re-visiting the redwoods in northern California. I’ve been sorting pictures from my recent trip and today I found myself lingering on these images from the redwood forests. They are so majestic and they are also great teachers. No matter how mighty or grand, everything on this earth, in the immortal words of George Malley, “is on its way to something else.” Redwoods fall, as these pictures clearly show. In the upper left-hand corner you can see the roots of a redwood, as big as a man’s thigh and ripped from the earth by the sheer mass of the tree. Yes, when this tree fell I believe there was a sound, even if no one was present to hear it. In the lower left picture you can see how the fallen redwood has become a new home for ferns and other plants. It is a new world, a new ecosystem. It is all part of the circle of life. ❧
Tango and I came across this incredible, ancient oak tree while exploring at Myakka River State Park last week. The base of the trunk was enormous and I would estimate that it would take three people holding hands to encircle it. Its gnarly, pock-marked bark put me in mind of my cousin Bunny and a song that John Prine wrote and was covered by numerous people, including Kris Kristoferson and Bette Midler. Called “Hello in There” the lyrics go:
You know, Old trees just get stronger/Old rivers grow wider every day
But old people just get lonesome/Waiting for someone to say
Hello in there/Hello.
That describes my cousin Bunny perfectly. She will be 94 years-old tomorrow (March 26) and she has a form of dementia that is so hard, for her and us. She cannot retain any recent memory. She awakens and her mind is blank. She wonders where she is but when you tell her she cannot retain it. Things loop around continuously. I am very patient with her and have discovered that if you are patient enough (and she must be patient too) you can get some things to “stick.” Once that process happens you can dig deeper and things begin to emerge. She seems to have memories of 2005-2007 but not much beyond that. The fall that injured her pelvis and led her to the ALF occurred in 2010. So for 4 to 7 years she has been floating in the dream-like world wherein she frequently is driving and she awakens thinking she has just driven in from New England or “the boonies.” I asked her what the “boonies” are and she said “the Florida forest.” I wonder what images she is tapping into because she has been coming to Florida since the 1940s.
It is wondrous on many levels but on a basic human level it is very sad. Two days ago she got into a loop of asking if she had asked these questions before.
“Yes,” I reply.
“Today?” she asks.
“Yes,” I reply.
“Several times?” she asks.
“Yes,” I reply.
“Well,” she drolly replies, “that must be tiresome.”
I could only laugh … and hope the tears in my eyes don’t fall down my cheeks. ❧
Lichen and mushrooms like to hang out together but they are different. Since I am without my reference books I can’t say definitively what all of those lovely colored beings are. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungus while lichens are composite beings that have fungi and a photosynthetic partner growing together in a symbiotic relation. (Thank you Wikipedia.) The pale green and the red & white growth are definitely lichen. But the tan colored growth has me stumped. There are mushrooms that are similar to this so …. ? This bark is on an old oak tree in the oak grove that I featured a couple of posts back (Oak Cathedral). ❧