Sunday, June 12, 2016

Muddy Brook Nature Trail - SBFiN Walk #10

  • SBFiN Walk # 10. Location: Muddy Brook Natural Area (on Poor Farm Road, South Burlington, VT.) 

  • June 12, 2016
  • Weather conditions: Temperature ~55 degrees, cloudy.   
  • Duration: 2.0 hours (10:00 to Noon)

On a cloudy, cool spring day long thick and strong arms bow deep and dip graciously, with firm resolve to hold me upright. Fingers (you would call them small branches) span out holding me and my brothers and sisters with loving resolve-giving us the most opportune space to absorb sunlight. 

As the breeze slides across us, we wave to each other, to our cousins, the Birch oval and pointed at the apex-double toothed, Sugar Maples with their five tapered lobes but few teeth, and their cousin the Silver Maple-five deep lobes and irregularly toothed, White Ash (who we are so fearful for, expecting the Ash Borer to arrive any day) with its pinnate leaflets, and stunted below us, the Sumac's with their compound pinnate leaflets. We also wave to you!

No, that joyous spring song, repeated melodiously over and over is not coming from us. That was not from me calling you, though if I could I would. No, that cheerful, hopeful, sound bellowing out from our wakes was a songbird among the cover and shadows we provide. Perhaps it was a male bird pleading for a female bird to take a moment to stop, look, and listen so that she might admire his beauty and talent. 

A yellowed leaf from our neighbor, Mrs. Ash, prematurely breaks away and silently sails to the  ground. We mourn her loss, knowing she has many other as yet healthy leaves, yet also knowing her nemesis (Emerald Ash Borer) may be carried here by humans inadvertently inside firewood. 

The sun breaks out from behind a cloud. The silvery Popular tree leaves dance in silvery glory in the dazzling bright disco light. 

I am and we are leaves, thousands upon thousands, of many shapes, sizes, even colors - a canopy of families - shading you, waving to you, bowing to you. Won't you look up from time to time and enjoy our display? Stop, Look, and Listen, nature has a story to show and tell you.

~Grandfather Cottonwood

         Whirligig Beetles 

                                                    Cottonwood Tree seeds.

           Large Jack in the pulpit - Arisaema triphyllum

                                                     Winooski River 

Forest Tent Caterpillar - Malacosoma disstria

Forest tent caterpillar has keyhole-shaped white spots, while Eastern tent has a white stripe down the back.

~VT dept of Parks, Forest, and Rec

                                     Buttercup - Ranunculus

                                                          Vetch - Vicia cracca

                                                                   Song Sparrow

                              Cedar Waxwing