Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My little patch 3

Regular readers of Roundtop Ruminations (how’s that for alliteration?) may remember that late last fall I chose a piece of ground in my forest to study in some depth. I always feel as though I’m missing important nuances around me. The forest has much more to show me and teach me than what I notice on any given day.  I wanted to start to delve more deeply into that forest knowledge, which is why I came up with the idea of studying a (much) smaller piece of ground.  The entire mountain is far too large an area to study in any detail, so I arbitrarily chose a rather non-descript spot in front of my cabin to look at for some of those small details. The spot has the advantage of being close, so I can look at it every day for as long as I care to or am able to. I wrote about that here and here.

One thing I've discovered since fall is that winter’s short hours of daylight hampered my investigation to some extent. And in a way, snow didn’t help either, as I was looking at snow and not at the patch itself.  Both those issues are solved with the coming of spring, so I am now able to devote the kind of attention to my spot that caused difficulty over the winter. And that’s where today’s photo is from. It’s a small patch of moss on the edge of my patch, which is roughly 5 feet by 4 feet.

So far this spring, the moss isn’t yet very green. In fact, everywhere around me, the mountain isn’t yet very green. The best I can say is that grass and moss is kind of a greenish brown this week, but brown still predominates.

Today, I was looking at the moss and noticing the stemmed capsules that protrude above it. This moss is an acrocarp, and those capsules are the fertile part of the moss, how it spreads and regenerates. What this tells me is that the moss has already noticed that it’s spring and is acting accordingly. So even though when I look across the forest as a whole, it doesn’t look much different than it did in December, but on a smaller and closer level, spring is here. You just have to look at it pretty closely to see it.

See?  Already my little patch is showing me things that aren't immediately apparent.  In a small way, that's what I hoped would happen and will continue to happen throughout this year.

1 comment:

Woodswalker said...

What a wonderful idea. I'll be enjoying your observations and photos as the seasons proceed.