For every beauty, there is an eye somewhere to see it.
For every truth, there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love, there is a heart somewhere to receive it.
~ Ivan Panin
Messy woods that consist of a tangle of fallen trees are seldom considered worthwhile exploring. Yet there are wonders waiting to be revealed in the most unlikely places…
Though it’s now barely noticeable underfoot, millions of years ago, the creeping club moss shown above grew much larger. The swamps that were filled with these club moss trees during the Carboniferous period were eventually transformed into the coal that’s mined today.
Did a flicker make this hole? Standing dead trees (snags) in old growth forests offer places for wild creatures to nest. If flickers nest here this year, they’ll be looking for tasty ants, their favorite food, to feed upon in the neighborhood this summer.
Who treads the delicate stairs of this stair-step moss? Utilized in the past as a covering for dirt floors and a gap filler between the logs of log cabins, it’s now being studied for its anti-bacterial properties.
The porcupine teeth marks on this tree reveal a delicate pattern. Could we be missing a woodland delicacy by not including inner bark in our diet? It might be worthwhile trying in a survival situation.
Could this delicate creeping vine be partridge berry? Its rich red hue will turn to green later this spring when it will blend in more with the mosses surrounding it.
The forest is reflected in a woodland pool that will sustain a diversity of life before it dries later this summer. Do the faeries sit on this log at the end of day to relax and chat about the day’s adventures?
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
~ Roald Dahl
These photos were taken on a most enjoyable walk in the woods yesterday with my friend Sybil of Eastern Passage Passage who posted a very different version of our adventure on her blog You can read her post here.