Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘leaves

Up Close

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I was looking at this moss-covered rock in our woods and decided to take some pictures of it. I don’t recall noticing the leaves around it, but after transferring the images to my computer, it is the leaf pierced by the stem of another leaf that leaps out of the image for me.

I love it.

I zoomed in and cropped another angle to produce this result:

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Written by johnwhays

November 9, 2017 at 7:00 am

Maple Floor

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All that fall color in the trees eventually makes its way to the ground. This time of year we get a beautiful new carpet on our forest floor.

A new maple floor. I like how well it hides stains. Unfortunately though, sometimes it gets slippery when it’s wet.

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Written by johnwhays

October 11, 2017 at 6:00 am

First Aroma

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It was one week ago that I wrote about the waning days of summer and my noticing colored leaves in our grass beneath the tree that always turns early. Now, on the last day of August, it’s probably right on schedule that I noticed my first scent of dry leaves in our woods.

It doesn’t even look like there are enough leaves on the ground to be noticeable, but the smell is there.

I was doing some forest bathing with Delilah and breathing in the aroma as we walked the trail. It made me think of September, and then I realized that the month begins tomorrow.

The smell may not be early, but it seems like it is.

Last night was a gorgeous summer evening with a perfect temperature and fabulous sky when Delilah and I headed out later in the evening to tuck the chickens in their coop for the night. The horses had wandered through the open gate out onto the grass of the middle pasture again, and the scene was a perfect picture-postcard moment.

In sharp contrast to the travails of so many other people and places in the world, the sanctuary of our property is quite the healing balm for whatever assails my being.

The aroma of fallen leaves comes as a particularly precious added bonus.

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Written by johnwhays

August 31, 2017 at 6:00 am

Beneath Trees

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After a bit of a pause in construction, I was stepping out to work on the chicken coop again yesterday, now that Cyndie is home to lend a helping hand. We were taking advantage of the very summer-like weather gracing our region this first week of November.

Striding across the yard I was suddenly struck by how distinctly different the carpet of leaves was within just a few steps. Photo op!

dscn5414eBeneath a big old oak tree that holds most of its dried leaves through the winter.

dscn5413eNext tree over is a dominant poplar that lost a significant portion of its top in a storm during the summer.

dscn5417eOn the other side of the driveway, the grove of maples create a thick layer of light crunchy playfulness that is a delight to walk through.

Another example of the micro-environments that collectively make up the paradise where we live. We call it Wintervale Ranch.

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Written by johnwhays

November 5, 2016 at 8:45 am

Autumn Ambiance

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dscn5204eI stepped outside to search for some fall scenery to photograph after I got home from work yesterday and was rewarded well beyond my expectations. It helps to never grow too accustomed to the beautiful surroundings we enjoy here.

It would be a shame to ever take this gorgeous place for granted.

The key factor yesterday was that it wasn’t raining. There was actually some blue sky visible. With a high pressure system moving in, we are hoping to for several dry days in a row. It is likely to deliver a dose of our best of autumn weather.

dscn5208eMany of our trails are developing a carpet of fallen leaves that provide a crunch when you walk. More importantly, they are filling the air with the unmistakable scent of the season. When I walk toward the pastures and pop out of the trees, the horses show signs of wondering what huge creature is making all that racket.

Just this huge creature, is all.

When I got down to our Rowcliffe Forest Garden Labyrinth, the sunlight was getting low. Cyndie had recently mowed and weeded the labyrinth, which gave it a well-tended glow anyway.

I walked to the far side and paused to stare at the beauty all around me. I was looking away from the entrance for the shortest of moments, and when I turned back around I was startled by the sudden silent presence of a lone young deer happily standing nearby.

It was as if it had magically materialized in the spot. I realized right away that it was totally unaware of me standing there. When it stepped through our fence and walked into the pasture to graze, I stealthily moved to a rock nearby and lifted my camera to capture the scene in video…

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Written by johnwhays

September 27, 2016 at 6:00 am

Different Ropes

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DSCN5107eOurs weren’t the only ropes hanging in the trees over the weekend. The woods were thick with spider webs that were made all the more impressive by the drops of 100% humidity clinging to them. It was impossible to move around in pursuit of our goals without repeatedly disrupting some very impressive architecture.

Cyndie let out an audible startle when she suddenly came upon a chest-high web with the spider perched right in the center. It was probably just finishing a meal.

I tried to capture some of the wonder of this beauty from several different angles. I wanted to get that big leaf out of the frame and finally just reached out to nudge it aside, but it was firmly attached as a primary support. I had to leave it right where it was.

DSCN5109eIt really was the quintessential web design for the most part, but then the web maker seemed to veer off into a dramatic free form array of supports, angles, and lines.

It looked abstract enough to imply the spider may have been tipping back some fermented fruit or something. At the same time, it’s quite possible it was sheer brilliance to establish a framework on which the rest of the traditional web could rely.

You be the judge.

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Written by johnwhays

August 30, 2016 at 6:00 am

Springing Along

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DSCN4686eThe season of spring is springing along nicely at Wintervale. The leaves have started making an appearance on a variety of shrubs and saplings. The raspberry bushes in particular have shown dramatic development in the last few days. It is hard to tell whether the recent rains triggered this, or it was just coincidental timing, and would have happened at this time, anyway.

It amazes me how quickly the initial sprouts of foliage obscure the view into our woods. Very soon, there will be so many green leaves, we won’t be able to see more than the outer surfaces.

I’m wishing I could remember this moment long-term in order to hold it as a reference for comparison with the other extremes of  the stark bare branches of winter and the view-obscuring green leaves of summer. Every season seems to last just long enough that I mentally fall into a trap of perceiving views as if a present state is the only way it could ever be.DSCN4688e

When the forest is fully leafed out, I find it hard to comprehend that just months earlier, it was the complete opposite.

Though most areas of our yard have yet to be mowed, I already needed to cut one section a second time.

I sense that summer is just a short blink away from replacing spring, and the expanding leaves on trees and bushes will be leading the charge in the days ahead.

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Written by johnwhays

April 26, 2016 at 6:00 am