Deadwood: a walk in the woods

I mean ‘deadwood’ in the nicest possible way.

oak crownMy local woods is part of an oak savannah that borders the river and once stood much closer to the shore of Lake Ontario. The trees are rooted in undulating sand hills, which are themselves the remnants of a prehistoric lake. Perhaps it is their loose footing that brings so many trees down. Once down, they lie where they fell. Even if they block a well-used path, the parks department let them be. Their decay is imperceptible but sure. The deadwood is host to insects and seedlings and whatever else thrives on it. Today is ideal decaying weather – very hot and humid. This is what I saw on my walk.

fallen tree #1fallen tree 2fallen tree 3 edtrickle treeThe tree above was undermined by a tiny trickle of a brook. The same trickle took down the next tree, a tall one. Its crown fell across the usual path and it took me several months to discover the detour around it.

fallen tree 5 edSomeone has ill-advisedly fashioned a rail of dead branches, certainly not a parks person.

railThere are, thank goodness, no “Use at Your Own Risk” signs nor should there be walking aids. Wood-walkers are made of hardier stuff.

fallen tree 7 hollow tree edSome oaks hang on valiantly in spite of past trauma.

new tree edMeanwhile new trees just planted near the river are loving this extremely wet June.

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