Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tulip Poplar Roots

In case you ever doubt that a tree's root system is as large as the tree itself, check out the roots of these twin Tulip Poplars, holding on to the bank along my favorite small, but fickle, Meetinghouse Creek.  During heavy rains, the innocent looking little stream rises high enough to erode the soil under the trees.  Over the years, the tree has compensated for this by growing its roots into the side of the steep hill.  

I have loved these trees since I first saw them 22 years ago.  It's a great place for children to climb and play - a fall (onto soft sand) would not hurt even the smallest child.  And, in the dark recesses of the root system, I think some wild animal has made a home, although it must be a nice animal, because it doesn't seem to mind us playing on the roots.  

The trees are located in an area of the woods my family has always called, "Coon Hollow," because we've always seen raccoon tracks in the sand along the creek.  Today, I am sitting on the trunk of a fallen oak that rests on the opposite (also rising) side of the creek, so it is not flat on the ground, but about two feet in the air, and is the perfect height for me to sit comfortably.  

It was warmish when we headed out, or maybe "coolish with no wind" is more accurate, so I hiked into the shady woods to draw, but by the time I'd finished, at 5:00 p.m., the chilly air was settling in the valley.  My fingertips were beginning to feel numb.  Daisy and Dukie didn't seem to notice, they just had fun playing in the water, and then resting nearby.

I chose the sunniest route home, and at one point stopped in full, hot sunlight to put my face up to soak up the solar heat.  So delicious!

 (You probably noticed... I forgot my pens today!)

 Cranesfly Orchid leaves growing in Coon Hollow

My friends run through Meetinghouse Creek...


Boo said...

You know I love all the ways you create art, but trees & good ol' pencils have touched my heart today. And those roots! Don't they share a glorious story with us? Thanks, my friend

Bookworm said...

I think we must have all started drawing with pencils first. I did, way back when my mother was oil painting her pictures and gave me paper and pencil to keep me busy also. It's always nice to go back to the good ole ways occasionally. Delightful drawing, Helen. Brings back memories.

Sandy said...

I've just come across your blog after finding your book on Amazon and am delighted to find a kindred nature enthusiast! I look forward to reading your online journal as I follow along your artful journey.