Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Seedbox & Tag Alder

I made a point to squeeze in drawing time today because yesterday, while walking the dogs down by Meetinghouse Creek, I was surprised to see the Tag Alder in bloom. "In bloom" for an Alder means long yellow catkins (male) and tiny erect reddish cones (female). The mature cones, which are 3/4 inch long and woody, persist through the winter and are another way to identify the Tag Alder. I don't like to break living branches off a tree, so I stood in front of this low branch to draw, the drop off into the creek about a foot away. All was well until I turned to see if the dogs were about to pounce on me and lost my footing. I caught myself easily enough, but dropped my journal. Down it slid untill it was snagged by a several dormant stems of Yellowroot, leaving about a third of the book hanging out over the water. That was a close call.

The Seedbox grows beside Meetinghouse Creek, practically in the water. The plant is at least three feet high, the branches topped with the tiny boxes, or seed shakers. Poppyseed-like seeds come out of the tiny hole on the top of the box. I broke part of a branch and carried it up and away from the creek to draw. I'd had enough excitement for the day.

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