Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Woods In January

These winter days are long and short.
So little daylight for what feels like so very long.
Gunnar and I head out for a walk.
We grab every minute, when the sun does break through.

So did this hummingbird.
He was gone in a flash.
Probably an Anna's hummingbird,
which are known to winter over in the northwest.

We find a garden on a tree branch.

I'm hungry for color,
like these vibrant red rose-hips.

As we follow the trail into the woods, everything is dim and damp, even on a bright day.

Moss covers the trees and supports colonies of ferns.
These are licorice ferns, so named for the taste of the edible roots.

We pass a partially frozen pond, and watch for ducks.
If you've never seen ducks trying to land on a frozen pond,
well, you're missing a good laugh.

And then Gunnar notices something.

Just one tiny ornament.

And the hunt is on.

We find another tree, a baby hemlock, with just one red ornament.

And then more...

It's like a treasure hunt, looking for color in all that green.
Gunnar usually sees them first.

Until we find the jackpot, a wonderful little Charlie Brown tree.
a baby hemlock growing out of an old, dead-looking stump,
like the branch of Jesse.

Funny how deep in the woods it's all just damp, but back out in the open
everything is covered with frost.

Do you see this where you live?
The ground had been all white with frost until the sun came over the hill,
leaving a sort of melted sun-dial,
the shadows showing just how long the sun has been thawing the grass.

As the sun gets high enough to shine on the city,
you can see the fog lifting up above it.

And now it rains, and rains, and rains,
and we wait for another bright day.


Ann said...

Those little forest decorations are so fun! What a delight! And yes, our frost does that too! It's so pretty to watch the patterns based on shadows.

The dB family said...

I am so happy you went for a walk and posted photos of the decorated trees. When I read about it in your earlier post, I wanted to ask if you would go back and get pics, but I know it rains so much there right now I didn't dare. What fun to be out walking in the bush and happen upon a little bit of brightness!

As for your question. I have no idea. I haven't actually walked to our bush on a frosty morning. I will keep it in mind though.


Felicity said...

How much fun that is! Who puts the decorations up?
Beautiful photos, sorry it's raining again...
(Rain would be so good here right now ;-) )

Choate Family said...

Did you taste the fern roots? Not much frost here in Texas. We're expecting 70's here tomorrow!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I sure wish the five of us could do that walk together!

I don't know who put the decorations up. That section of woods is surrounded by neighborhoods and the trails are pretty heavily used. Although the foliage is pretty thick (especially when the trees are leafed out) and you can feel like you're really out in nature, you're really never more than a hundred yards or so from houses. Somebody was having some fun!

And Joanna, I have tasted the fern roots. I detest licorice, and they don't really have a black licorice taste, but I still don't find the taste very pleasant... but it's interesting. ;D


dlefler said...

I love the little ornaments leading the way to the tiny Christmas tree. What fun! We get frost with the same pattern here - but the woods are often frozen solid because our trees are all deciduous. We do have some pines on one side of our house and the ground is a bit sheltered/insulated there and takes longer to freeze than the rest of the yard.

Everything is completely white outside at the moment, though - we have a good 2' layer of snow on the ground!