May 21, 2010

A Walk in the Woods: New from Old

Yesterday and today were perfect spring days; today especially was like a lovely day in June, with clear skies, temperature in the mid 70s, a light breeze, and happily even the black flies weren't bad. It was impossible to stay indoors, so I was very busy in the garden, preparing the ground for planting warm weather crops. Perhaps because I am thinking so much of new growth, and of fertilizing the soil, using the compost which I've made from decomposed kitchen scraps and plant material, when I went for my daily woods walk, I was very interested in a couple of rotting tree stumps rich with mosses, lichens and ferns.

The wood was a beautiful rich red-brown and was beginning to crumble into small particles, seeming to be on its way to becoming soil.

There is a constant movement in the woods of new life––small trees and plants and wildflowers––being fed by the decay of leaves and needles and trees. Walking on the soft paths, I am aware of the years of dead leaves under my feet, slowly rotting and feeding the soil. It is a beautiful system, a circle of life and death.


  1. I especially love this last picture - magical miniature world!

  2. Oh ...I love all the mossy bits Altoon...and the final photo as Linda commented - the miniature world!
    This would be a wondrous walk...and such treat after all the deep freeze of your winter!

  3. Thank you, Linda and Sophie, for the lovely comments. I have loved photographing in the woods; it's opened up this marvelous tiny world that I had not seen before.