Saturday, March 19, 2011

Signs of life on the trail

   Here are some close-up shots that I took along the trail. The grass was barely beginning to come back to life, and the trees were not yet budding (unfortunate, because the area is supposedly full of dogwood). So many of my shots are monochromatic, which I didn't realize until I reviewed them. The subdued colors help you appreciate the forms themselves and are striking in their own way.
   While we were loading up to hike to our campsite, I went off-roading to find the little girls' room, and  happened upon the dinner site of who-knows-what animal. First I started seeing clumps of hair near the trail, and when I rounded a pine tree and entered a clearing, there was the makings a "build your own deer" kit: jawbones, a head and spine, and a couple of legs. Although a bit gruesome, I can see the beauty in the bones that made the animal, and it provided important sustenance to whomever devoured it (possibly a coyote?).
   Frankly, I'd rather come across a hungry wolf than a nestful of wolf spiders, which were waiting for us as we emerged barefoot from the frigid creek:
Tree #99 reporting for duty... SIR!
A cute lil' snail shell I found near the creek:
   Mini stalactites on the ceiling of the cave (Brandon's photo):
Fungi that reminded me of sea shells:
Lichen that reminded me of coral:
More colorful lichens:
Forest floor collage:
This moss-covered rock looked like a creature to me: