Monday, October 18, 2010

A Sunday afternoon ramble

The fall colors here on Roundtop Mtn. are still a work in progress, but fall weather the past few days is perfection itself. Knowing that this can’t last, I left my housework behind and headed down the mountain, to ramble along the stream that runs between Rountop and Nell’s Hill. I told myself that I needed the exercise, but since I found myself stopping to take a photo about every 3-4 feet, it’s questionable how much exercise was actually accomplished.

Originally, I simply wanted to take a photo of the mountain behind the cabin, but while I was up there, looking down to the base of Roundtop, it didn’t look very far away, so I headed down. Once there, I was just going to visit the pond that I can almost see from the top of the hill, but then I wanted to see how some of the ferns looked at this point in the fall, and before you know it, I was deep in the forest, enjoying the weather and sunlight and the quiet.

I followed the old woods road for much of my ramble. It makes for much easier walking than bushwhacking around the rocks and fallen trees that litter the forest floor. The old road cut created a bank on one side that is covered in ferns, mosses and forest plants of all kinds. I always see something different down here, and this ramble proved no exception.

The second photo today is of a withering ostrich fern, so named because the plumes resemble the ostrich feathers that used to adorn lady’s hats. The spores of next year’s growth are already visible on the underside. Before long, probably after the first frost of this season, the fronds will settle to the ground, where the spores will find a moist and fertile medium to begin their growth cycle next spring.

Along the old road, I see a flock of juncos. Saturday, for just a second, I saw the first to arrive at my feeders, but it was gone almost before I saw it. Today, the juncos are flighty, as though they aren’t yet sure if this is the spot where they will winter. I watch them flutter and stop, moving through the forest, then I move on, too.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Lol! I almost deleted your comment at my blog. That's what I get fro watching Tv while approving your comment.

Whoa in my book, your still green. I'm pretty at peak right now and it's all downhill now. Just think in two weeks it will be Nov 1st. Yikes where did teh year go?