Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winter On The Creek Bank

Delicate shells of lichen on a punky fallen branch.

Friday was another  grey-sky day.
By mid-afternoon I had wearied of the house.
I put on my boots, hauled an old down jacket from the closet, found gloves and camera.
I coaxed the 3 'kittens' inside the house and slipped out, leaving them clamoring at the back door.
They are delightful company if I am walking in the back fields, but I fear for their safety if they should follow me down the drive.
I headed across the road and into the rim of trees and shrubbery that border Big Creek.
There is no path along the creek's edge.  The ground is soft, with leaf covered hollows, unsteady hummocks, small ridges and inclines slippery with mud from the recent rains.
I lurched along for a few hundred yards, then removed my glasses and folded them carefully into my jacket pocket. This made the landscape appear a bit blurred, but I could better see where I was placing my feet on the uneven ground.

Rich green moss and ripples of creamy lichen on a weathered stump.

Following the creek southward I soon encountered rotting logs, saplings and brush, all entangled with a web of vines.
Nearer the edge of the water was a dense stand of tall bamboo-like reeds.
I turned back and scrambled up the bank, hauling myself upwards by means of saplings as I struggled for a toe-hold in the wet leaves.
I walked along the verge of the road until I reached the graveled track which leads to the
ford across the creek.
Turning north I picked my way along, stopping often to look up at the ledge which borders the east side of the creek.

Clusters of dried berries, shiny black, dangled from vines that trail through trees and shrubs above the water's edge.
A light wind rattled the brown leaves still clinging here and there to oak and maple.
Above me, small birds fluttered, sparrows perhaps or goldfinches in their quiet winter plummage.
Without my glasses I saw them as mere dark specks against the dull sky.

This tree loomed in my path like a many-antlered beast.
I've no idea of its identity or whether the spines are a parasitic growth or a normal
presentation of the species.
Looking up the trunk of the spiny tree.

Here vines have formed a wreath around a utility pole.

A view of the wreathed pole against a background of feathery reeds with jointed stalks.
My unplanned meandering--taking the route of least resistance through the brush--brought me to our neighbor's fence corner.
There were no cattle in the pasture and I saw this as an opportunity to have a closer look at the delapidated barn and out-buildings which I have previously photographed from across our corn field.
Those photos will appear in a later post.


  1. Nature is so spectacular. Loved your photos.

    1. Hi Deb; Sometimes I think that a bleak winter day doesn't offer much in the way of photo opps; then I remember I have only to poke around outside to find something interesting.

  2. The 'Winter' post is all visible, including multiple photos, on my link to your blog. :) Lovely post, btw.

  3. I'm so glad the post was saved and I was able to enjoy this beautiful post.