Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ages of the Forest

I just love the pattern in this old log. It’s almost like driftwood. I’m guessing that it was more than 10 years ago that I found it and dragged it down from the top of the mountain to the cabin. It must have weighed 50 pounds then. I was younger and I remember it as a hot day, though it may only have been all that dragging. For a while I cradled it and carried it but couldn’t do that for long. Eventually I just dragged it out of the woods, across a ski slope, through more woods and eventually to when my lane dead ends. After all these years, it’s much lighter now, not more than 20-25 pounds, I’d guess. Rain and fungus and who knows what else have worn it or chipped it away. I can’t even begin to guess how many years it has been since it was a living tree.

For many years I used it on my back deck like a bird feeder, to the especial delight of various woodpeckers. The hollow area is really the underside of the former branch. I turned it so the hollow side was facing up and filled it with bird seed and suet. Eventually the log eroded to the point where it would no longer stand on its own on the deck, so I moved it. For a few years now I’ve filled the hollow part with soil and used it like a natural planter for my annual plants, holding it up by bracing it with a few stakes in the ground. This year I didn’t even do that, as one side of my "planter" has eroded to the point where I can no longer fill it with soil. Now it’s just a decoration.

The wood pattern gets prettier, I think, as the log gets ever older. At this point, I’m beginning to think some part of the this dead log will outlast me. Who knew that it would take so long for a downed branch to disappear back into the soil from whence it came? I know I sure didn’t.


pablo said...

So you're saying there's hope for me.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo: Do you mean you are hoping to get prettier as you get older? Or that you're hoping someone will drag you off the mountain???

Carolyn H.

Cathy said...

Carol, tried shooting the trunk in black nad white too. That would really make the pattern stand out.