The North Carolina mountains are so beautiful in the autumn, especially when it's a day like Saturday - cloudy and windy, with red and yellow leaves flying through the air and landing silently, carpeting the ground. It was the first cold weather of the season. At home in Spartanburg it was in the 80's Thursday, so we loved this morning's 35 degrees...brrrr.
Found this Christmas fern frond growing in the trees alongside Raspberry Lane, which runs below our tiny cabin on Hall Top. So much is happening in the woods when you stop and really look. The little green fern was snuggled in with old rotting leaves, newly fallen leaves, twigs, pieces of lichened bark from a dying tree, and more, and all were amazingly balanced on the steep bank. While I was drawing an ant scurried by, reminding me how all this stuff provides the perfect cover for beetles, slugs, snails, ants, etc. Then my mind kept going down into the dark, loamy soil, where earthworms and centipedes crawl about, and bacteria and fungi are busy working to break it all down and provide food for plants. Whew! Maybe all that mental activity is why my journal entries take so long to complete!
The berries... I don't know what they are called, but they were painfully beautiful. I still have the tip of a thorn in my hand from trying to pick branches to take into the cabin. Ouch!