Sunday, October 18, 2009
Mysteries Along the Trail
On the trail walk with Sue and Lindsey yesterday (see last post), I found a number of oddments that puzzled me much. These were things I couldn't ID or explain, and in some ways I'm glad for that. It's good to have a few mysteries lurking out there. But if any of my readers are familiar with these finds, please chime in with comments we all can learn from.
These little blobs of clear red resin were stuck to a standing dead tree that had been de-barked and tunneled by some kind of beetles. The stuff was hard, like someone had spit out chunks of red Lifesaver and they stuck to the tree. So maybe that is what happened? Nah, I really doubt it.
Here's some really orange moss, growing on the vertical face of a boulder along a shaded part of the trail. There was regular old green moss on the same boulder, but this stuff captured my attention. I've seen sphagnum mosses of all colors, but this doesn't look like sphagnum.
When we reached the shore of Lake George, we wandered around the park that overlooks the southern end of the lake, the site of several battles during the French-Indian wars before the American Revolution. The rocky outcroppings here are quite amazing, in some places the bedrock split like pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. I wondered what kind of cataclysm could have shattered the bedrock like that. There were also these outcroppings of snow-white rock with what seemed an almost sugary texture. Is it some kind of marble? There were a number of deep round holes, a few inches across, ground into the rock. What could have made them?
I never would have noticed these baby Serviceberry leaves if Sue hadn't pointed them out to me. Sue's a disciple of Henry David Thoreau and knows every word he ever wrote (it seems to me) and so she remembered him talking about how the Serviceberry tree puts out these brand new leaves just as all other trees are dropping theirs. What a brave little tree! Will these leaves stay viable through our long frozen winter, or will they drop off and the tree put forth new ones come the spring? (If you click on this photo, you can see the leaves have their warm woolies on.)