Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All !

Christmas Eve, 2012
Queensbury NY

Then out of darkness we see light,
Which makes all angels to sing this night
Glory to God and peace to men
Both now and evermore,

Sussex Carol, lyrics first published in 1684.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little Stars

September 27, 2012
Mud Pond, Moreau Lake State Park

Now for the Aster Tradescanti along low roads,
like the Turnpike,
swarming with butterflies and bees.
Some of them are pink.
How ever unexpected are these later flowers!
you thought that Nature had about wound up her affairs.
… you thought you knew every twig and leaf
by the road side,
and nothing more was to be looked for there;
and now, to your surprise,
these ditches are crowded with millions of little stars.
   HDT Journal, September 14, 1856

[Note to Faithful Readers:
Yes, I am woefully behind the times in this blog.
The next few installments will skip along the season, to get us back to the Present.
It seems to happen at this time each year.
To paraphrase Thoreau -- November-Eat-Blog, is that what they call it? ]

The first place I went walking after returning from the sea-side,
back at the end of September, was Mud Pond.

Jackie and I went there in hopes of seeing some Fall colors, which seem to be holding off awhile yet.  The Maples are starting to glow,
and the Winged Sumacs are on fire, but most everywhere else, you have to really look to find some COLOR.
The Pond is at the lowest we have ever seen it, and you can walk along the shore,  as never before.

The forest’s fabric of green is growing thin in places, so it no longer looks like Summer,  but it doesn’t look like Autumn yet, either.

The plants are preparing their future generations.
Bluecurls have gone to seed with charming little seedboxes.
So far the only flowers we see today at the wood's edge are the late Asters, and the little Fleabanes,
those stars of the ditch that Thoreau noticed on his September walk

A surprising bit of color came from a colony of  the slime mold
called Wolf's Milk,
up close, it seems like a bad case of diaper rash !

The pond’s banks are covered with ferns, which grow pale when the nights grow cool.
They look like flames racing up the hillsides.

We stopped along the trail to check on the Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain patch. By the looks of things, next year is going to be a good one for Goodyera.  [Andrew, they are patiently awaiting your return ...]

Most of my insect pals are gone, but a few small creatures are still going about their daily business.

Do they feel any urgency in these last warm days of the year?