Back home from D.C. after a cantankerous and self destructive meeting of the typical nonprofit do-gooder organization, where many awards and plaques were ceremoniously presented by and to a bunch of folks who spend the rest of their volunteer time in schemes worthy of a King Henry court in the darkest of ages.
My wife looked at the mug I had been given at the banquet which read, "Paddlesports Legend". "What does that mean?" she said. "Legend is sort of like a myth" says I. "Yeah" says she.
This morning, it's drizzly, coolish, dark, brown, foggy, and the forest is in its final throes of Fall, leaving the last appearance of life to the heavily outnumbered evergreens. It is the season of the witch
After the last color gives up and drops to the ground, the forest opens up and sunlight finally reaches the christmas ferns and pipsissiwa crawling around in the leaf litter. In the secondary canopy where dogwoods live, there is another small tree that makes good use of this time of year, as Persephone descends to the underworld for her annual Zeusian conjugal visit.
It's all about competition... For food, water, sun, and sex. Plants have it, too, you know. And they've got it a little tougher than manimals, what with not being to move around very easily. Plants are heavy into bestiality. In the spring there are tons of partners in nature's single's bar. for plants, we usually call them pollinators, and the majority of them are insects, though birds, small mammals, and the wind itself, lend a hand as circumstances permit. the problem with spring time is that while there are tons of opportunities, there's a lot of competition, too. that's why there's nearly always some flower blooming at other seemingly odd times, flirting with danger and unsafe frivolity with the few pollinators that can still do what has to be done on the very edge of the last precipice before the dark of winter.
Now come the Gentian and the Witch. The lowly gentian lives in moist areas and is barely strong enough to poke through the leaves and show the pale blue or white flowers that don't seem to open. The Witch is Witch Hazel...my favorite tree. Small and strong and also living in moist areas. One that I visited most often, lived at the end of the road leading to Whites Creek, next to the water. On my fall hikes I liked to orbit by this tree looking to see if the unusual blossom spires had sprung from the limbs, twisted, white and small...the last bloom of the year. A Thanksgiving decoration, if you will.
Here is a picture of my Witch hazel tree.
If I ever find out who the fisherman was, I plan to vent my anger in expressive exhuberance.
This is a shot of the water next to the Witch. There really is water in the picture..honest, though you may have to click on the image and check the larger version.