Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tulip Poplar Petals

Home again!  Unpacked the car and headed out into the woods before I was tempted to take a late afternoon nap. I made a beeline for the bench to feel the breeze on my face after six hours driving.  

The bench sits on top of our high (pipeline) hill facing southwest and has a far view of rolling hills and sky.  I wondered if it was going to be too hot to sit on the bench, but as I emerged from the shaded woods I noticed that the shadows of the far pines had already moved half-way across the pipeline, and one particularly tall tree's shadow lay around the bench like a rug of cool green.  Very nice. I sat and Radu and Daisy moved on to explore the grassy hilltop.  I closed my eyes for a minute, then opened them again.  A few white cottonball clouds floated on the horizon and a high, thin cirrus wisp flew up and over my head.  The wind was strong and cool in my face.  

Ten minutes or so later I got up to wander around and see what I could see.  The Dewberries are blooming white, and pussytoes have sent up their fuzzy little feet from silvery foliage. Other flowers include Cinquefoil, Violets, Vetch, and Toadflax. Venus' Looking Glass is up with buds, but no blooms yet.  Several grasses are blooming but I don't know their names. 

On the way back to the house I noticed on the ground a splash of colorful petals from Tulip Poplar blooms.  They had fallen from one of our huge trees and were still bright, fresh, and sticky on the inside. Nearby a whole bloom had fallen, the branch tip snipped off by some insect.  I picked it up and found that it was filled with large, reddish-brown ants attracted to the sweet, sticky sap.  They didn't seem to mind my observing their sap sipping activity, and continued their business while I drew the bloom. 

I read somewhere that Daniel Boone hollowed his famous 50 ft. long canoe from a Tulip Poplar Tree's long trunk.  Looking up at our tree I can definitely see how this is possible.

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