Monday, April 19, 2010

My Woods

Yup, even though I don't own a foot of it, I'm beginning to think of the woods behind my house as "my" woods. If you had told me, a few months ago, that my big retirement project would be trying to document the flora, and fauna if I see any, in the woods behind my house, I would have told you that you were crazy. Now, I find that I can't wait to get back in there, at least once a week, to see what I can find.

Yesterday, I took 74 pictures. Oh, a lot of them were duplicates and just plain poor shots, but, even after I sorted them out, I still had a whole bunch of shots that I wanted to share with you all. So, I'm going to spread the telling of this tale into two parts. Today, I'll share with you the plants that I saw today, including a new mystery plant. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about my experiences back at the old homestead in the woods.

The choke cherries are in bloom. At least, that's what we have always called them. But, when researching them, I found out that these trees don't fit the description of a choke cherry at all. At one time, this land was partially planted in orchards. I think, now that these cherry trees are domestic cherries, gone wild. Whatever they are, they are pretty.

I took the new trail I had tried last week. I wanted to see how some of the plants had developed. Last week's mystery plant, still unidentified, had changed in shape. The flower stalks were now must more upright.

The trillium had flowered.

And, while last week, that had been the only trillium I had found, this week I found lots more plants growing. That made me so happy, because I had been worried that trilliums were disappearing from the woods. I remember drifts of them, when I was a kid. Turns out, I was just a little early.

I even found a red trillium

The Mayapples were further along, and the branched ones were showing tight flower buds, right in the middle of the plant.

More early saxifrage, further along in bloom. It's such a pretty, delicate flower.

Columbine, not ready to flower yet.

Sweet Woodruff. The plants I have in the garden are showing buds. This is a little further behind.


And, the mystery plant for this week, which just fascinates me. It looks like the flower head is coming up completely separate from the leaf. I can't wait to get back there next weekend, and see how it has developed.

I wanted to see if I could identify some tree fungus, and I had pretty good luck.

Artist's Bracket

Lumpy Bracket

Smokey Bracket

Last for today, and not flora at all, I found this boulder. It's a glacial drop, probably, but, what fascinated me is that it's cracked. Can you imagine the force it would have taken to have cracked something that is as big as a large microwave oven?

Last week, the trail that I took lead me to a point above the homestead that is back there. I took that same trail yesterday, but, this time, I descended down the ridge to the house itself. But, more about that tomorrow.


ME said...

Isn't it amazing and kind of weird how far along nature is this year? The magnolia tree in my neighbours front yard is already dropping the blooms, and that in the middle of April....normally it wouldn't even be blooming yet..... Feels so weird to see everything so green already!

Sharon said...

My, Louise, what good eyes you have! You give me a nice glimpse of the Northern woods, has been a long time since I was there! (Well, MN woods anyway) I love the Trillium, brings back fond memories.

Louise said...

I'm afraid, ME, that we're going to have one huge frost, that is going to kill everything. But, day after day is sunny and bright.

Sharon, it's funny, but, the more I go back there, the more I see. I remember tramping through the woods when I was young, covering ground to get back to see the bay (water has always fascinated me.) Now, I stop every few feet and look around, to see what I can see. Of course, part of that may be that I'm older, and don't move around as well.

Sandra said...

What's better than discovering and documenting new life? Thank you for the walk through your woods:)

John Gray said...

when I go for my walk with the dogs tomorrow I will make the effort to look a little closer to whats happening!!!!

Canyon Girl said...

Oh, you have so much growing in your woods! I'll find out more about the yellow flowers on my hillside. Snow and rain are predicted for the next three days, so it may be a while. I'm so looking forward to reading about the old homestead.

Upupaepops said...

I look forward to your next set of pictures

mystery number 1 might be an orchid

not sure about number 2, do you get candystick there?

Louise said...

No candystick Upupaepops. Hopefully, when I go back next weekend, it will have developed more. I never thought of an orchid. If it is, it's a very nondescript one. And, a very small one. That plant is only about six inches tall.

Upupaepops said...

that would not be unusual

check out the Spiranthes and the Platanthera genus

tall thin small multi flowers, usually white. Have leaves like shown in your picture.

Tammy said...

Great pictures and it looks like you had a great time. I used to do allot of woods roaming, but much of the land around here has been bought up and posted No Tresspassing, so not so much now. I loved the pictures of the old home place. I could explore something like that for hours!