Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Equinox Woods

Birch Conk
(Piptoporus betulinus)

Equinox or no Equinox, there is still a fair amount of snow in the Lanark woods, as you can see from the first photo. The crust was firm for the most part, and one could go pottering about among the trees with minimal risk of sliding off a rock face, falling into a crevice or getting stuck in a sinkhole somewhere.

Ramble we did on the weekend..... The sky was brilliant blue, the light was glorious, and we must have covered miles on foot through the woods. Himself and I carried seed and suet cakes for the birds, and I (of course) also carried a field notebook, camera and a whole bag of lenses and filters. Spencer and his friend Emma floated along in the snow beside us, as graceful as deer, as swift as March hares and deliriously happy to be cavorting in the sunlight.

From the number of birch conks we found in our travels, a number of old trees on the Two Hundred Acre Wood are slowly expiring, and that is sad, for many of them are long time friends. The birch mothers have been ardently perpetuating their lineages though, and that made us happy. In almost every place where we found trees and conks existing together, there were active nurseries and throngs of stalwart young trees all around. In their groves, the saplings clustered proud and protective around their mother trees, and we knew that there would be birch trees in our favorite place for many years to come.

Yesterday it snowed heavily, and that is an Equinox tradition of another kind.


Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed reading about your ramble, Cate. There always used to be a snowstorm here in early April, just before spring stayed for good, but the last couple of years that hasn't happened. We've had earlier springs. Climate change.

Cindy said...

We are waiting for that final snowstorm too. Always happens right before Easter. Winter's last hurrah, but I don't mind another chance to light a fire and snuggle in for the evening. Spring though, especially after all the upheaval my life endured last Spring, is something I am going to relish with all my heart. I can smell the rich damp earth and it's calling me back to myself....once again.

Angie said...

How I would love to, literally, go rambling with you through the Two Hundred Acres, scattering seed and suet, watching Spencer and his buddy frolic...I will content myself with your spell-binding way with painting word pictures~~~and be glad that you've shared the journey with us. :)

Anonymous said...

Could we have a picture of Spencer and Emma together?

Glad that Spring is coming to you at last :)

Anonymous said...

I would like to know your hardiness zone gardening wise. I was in a 5A zone and moved last year to a 3B zone in the Laurentians in Qu├ębec and the only sign of spring right now around my little house is the presence of redwing blackbirds and grackles. I have still 4' of snowbanks all around my house.
Love your blog.

Tabor said...

Our trees are all falling and aging as well. I am guessing it is their time...or perhaps it is being hurried by pollution. Said to see the big ones go.