Monday, July 7, 2008

July meanderings

I began my walk on Saturday out in the garden, where the fig tree is entertaining many insect visitors, perhaps in part because of its rank odor -- I never knew these beloved trees STINK in the summer sun.

Speaking of stench, the transplanted Jack in the Pulpit is thriving in the fetid, mosquito-infested woodland seep that continues to dribble in spite of our drought. This is its seed cluster.

Little further on grows "lizards tail," which also likes ooey-gooey damp places, but at least has the decency to produce a surprisingly fragrant scent, if you can stop smacking mosquitoes long enough to appreciate it.

I like this old sycamore tree, which has survived a hurricane and several massive floods, and that's just in the few short years that I have known it. It grasps the sandy creek edge with the determination of a steely soldier fighting for his foxhole -- its gnarled roots have character!

Here is the creek, almost dried up now -- but just a few years ago, in a great storm, coursing with such fury as to tear out a bridge and drown a Woman trapped in Her car.

Again, in spite of our drought I was surprised to find a flow of water coursing through the green blanket of poison ivy in the power-line cut -- and some friendlier ferns. I don't know what type. I'm not a fern expert.

This smoke tree, mimosa something-or-other, is invasive but hard to hate, with its soft, pink blossom like the tutu of some little wood nymph.

Trumpet vine! First time I have seen it in these woods.

Here is a mystery. I vaguely remember finding a catalpa tree near this spot last year, as witnessed by the long "beans" that hung down from it at the time. Catalpas have huge leaves as this tree does. Are these sticky green fruits going to lengthen into pods during the summer, meaning that I have rediscovered the catalpa? Or is this a different tree?


Ela said...

The tree roots are amazing. what a giant.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Ela, my friend, good to hear from You. We are kindred souls. I wasn't sure if anyone else would appreciate that particular picture. Its beauty is different from that of a wildflower or a butterfly. I should have known that You would.

Ela said...

kindred souls we are definately!
have a good day

Janice Thomson said...

Oh my goodness - what a tresaure trove of delights! The tree roots, the mimosa and that trumpet vine! How gorgeous. The fern looks like bracken fern. Not sure what the bottom tree is though...

kat said...


"When the U.S. began trading with China in the 19th century, pottery (that is, fine china) was a major import. The delicate objects were packed in crates and cushioned with the large and firm but gently yielding seed pods of Paulownia trees, a precursor of our Styrofoam peanuts. Once in the New York harbor, some of the seeds inevitably escaped their pods and planted themselves along the banks of the Hudson.

Invasive Species

Anonymous said...

A fellow tree-hugger, nature walker. Beautiful photos - from the giant gnarled roots to the fairy-like mimosa. Lovely.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Janice: Even an overgrown vacant lot in the city can be a treasure trove of (natural) delights when we know how to really LOOK.

I've driven through Kansas and concurred with the general opinion that from a car window, it is boring. Those who have walked it, beg to differ.

Kat: Well, that's a disappointment. Exotic and invasive.

Citizen: I am happy to hug a tree whenever I can!