We meandered up to Buck Mt today. Wearing orange because it’s hunting season over our jackets ended up being too warm. 60 degrees in November is unusual, but we’re not complaining.
We sat down at the top to listen and look. Lake Superior gleamed and sparkled in the distance below us, a thin line behind the spruce spires. The woods, so quiet today, we could hear the traffic three miles away on route 61. Once we heard something coming up towards us, the dry leaves and sticks cracking. I moved and it crashed back down and away. A deer, no doubt.
Some years ago, I can’t tell how long, this old tree root was upright and growing in the ground. A tree, part of the forest, green grouped, on the slope, shaping the sky line grew upward from it. What a wind and storm it must have been to rip it out and lay it over. How many years of rain and sun to wash and dry this root system. Still a tree, technically, but now a runway for critters, a hollow for woods dwellers. Changed and crooked, grey and brittle, even a little ugly. But I took a picture.
Here’s a couple rules for late fall woods walking.
- Take a camera.
- Wear orange.
- Look for small parts of the whole to see and capture.
- Remember, the more you look, the more you see.
- Bring home specimens to dry and draw.