Life in a cabin on a mountain in southern Pennsylvania
Monday, November 22, 2010
Now that the leaves have dropped, the brown shades of winter dominate the forest, even if the temperatures of winter have yet to arrive. This time of year can be challenging to photograph because the landscape is something of a monochrome. October brings such a riot of color that the sudden change to brown can be something of a shock.
This weekend the quiet that has pervaded November 2010 continued, so I was eager to get outside. Temperatures this November are about typical, but unlike many Novembers that produce a variety of precipitation, this one hasn’t done much of that so far. In other words, this has been an excellent November to be out and about and not huddled around a fire.
The sameness of the color of my local landscape drives me to look for things that are not brown, and that search usually finds me looking at fungus and moss. This weekend I found lichen and fungus and moss in abundance, so for the moment I happily have something to photograph.
The moss I found looked like a tiny little field of ferns, nature’s own miniature landscape.
The fungus covered the west side of this tree with ribbons of tiny, white polka dots of fungus.
Lichen is a favorite of mine. It is sensitive to air pollution of nearly any kind, so when I see a nice healthy patch of it on a rock or a tree trunk, I know I’m in a healthy forest.
So the leaves have fallen, the forest has turned brown, and the deer are taking on their duller winter coats. Can snow be far behind? Probably not.
I live in a cabin in the forests of Pennsylvania. I write about what I see and do in the natural world around me. I've been a hawkwatcher for more than 20 years, a birder for longer than that, and a crayfish-catcher since I was a polywog.