Monday, September 30, 2013

Odds and ends

Dry is the operative work here on the mountain right now. A Christmas fern that has lived for years in the crack of a boulder near the cabin is drying and turning brown. Now, even the leaves on mid-sized trees are drying up. I think the word for the autumn leaf change here will be “brown” this year. I’m not expecting pretty reds or yellows anymore.

I watered the fern in the boulder this morning, which seems a tad ridiculous, even to me. All the plants on the forest floor are withering, and I water a fern in a boulder, which has held on to life despite little soil for it. But I like that fern and would hate to see it disappear, so I watered it. I don’t know if it will do any good. It may well be a matter of too little, too late.

Acorns are dropping all around my cabin, sometimes on my cabin, which makes a heck of a racket, frequently causing Baby Dog to bark at the perceived intruder.. I think it is those acorns that keep the deer so close to the cabin. I scare one or the other of them almost every time I set foot outside. And if I go back inside even momentarily, the deer are back where they were when I scared them the first time. They don’t seem to mind being startled multiple times a day. Sometimes they don’t even move away at all. I wonder if that will change when deer season starts.

This year I’m finding lots of yellow wooly bear caterpillars. The particular species I’ve been seeing is probably a sycamore tussock moth. It can only be told from the banded tussock moth by dissection, though the range of the banded tussock moth seems too much a southern species to be found at my cabin, even in these days of climate change. Since I’m not planning to dissect any of these, let’s just call them tussock moths of some species. They are far prettier as caterpillars than as moths, anyway.


Cathy said...

Oh good, I'm not the only one with lots of wooly bear caterpillars. There seems to be a bumper crop of them this year. I have regular ones and the white ones. Plus today I saw a black one too.

Also seeing a lot squash ones on the road too

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I haven't seen any of the black or banded wooly bears yet, just these blond ones. They seem to be the most common here this year--at least this week.

Scott said...

Carolyn: Dry here, too, further east. The longer-range forecast I read yesterday said heavy rain a week from today, but otherwise warm and sunny days until then. We've had little foliage change yet--mostly the dogwoods so far. I don't think you should feel bad about watering the fern; I'd do the same.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: It seems as though the closer we get to that forecasted rainstorm, the less likely it appears I'll get any from that.