Stubbornness (Hemlock Cliffs VII)

About 9 months ago I went looking for the Arrowhead Arch near Hemlock Cliffs, and I thought it’s time to see how this place looks like in the autumn.

The stubborn spiders are out and about, and the stubborn leaves cling to the trees.

But, of course, what is really stubborn are the rocks of the Messmore cliffs.

This time I was stubborn enough to explore them all the way.

I like the complex and noisy landscape.

And there is the surprisingly harmonious contrast between the cold rock and the warm autumn colors.

Contrasts like these seem to need each other.

In places like this, sometimes, something magical can happen, pure serendipity.

Fungi

With cooler temperatures and less humidity, it’s time to say good-bye to the mushrooms, and maybe these close-ups will do.

The now decaying fruiting bodies of have done their work and put out spores for new mycelium to grow.

Underneath the mycelium will keep composting and cleaning up and waiting patiently for spring and warmth.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if inside us could grow fungi, too, with moody tendrils of a soul-mycelium absorbing worries and fears, and strangely shaped fruiting thoughts sending out spores to grow elsewhere?

Spring and warmth will come.

Autumn Tapestry

The autumn colors are finally here, too, and Shades State Park, about which I can’t possibly have written often enough, offers from it’s Inspiration Point an excellent view across Sugar Creek to the tree covered hills of the other side.

I could have spent hours there, letting the colors soothe mind and soul, like music for the eyes.

Does it ever get boring? The trees don’t think so.

Well, to have some variation, here is a wider view of the scene:

Let’s Deal With It

I have written before about Two Lake Trail in southern Indiana, a 13 mile loop.

Here we are at the end of summer, colors haven’t changed yet from uniform green&brown to the fall display of everything.

The safest way to deal with this is to ignore the colors. And, while we are at it, also to ignore sharpness and depth of field, as that might reveal how all this here really looks like.

If you remove color and use blurry images, it’s not so bad anymore.

Even the very smelly drainage from one of the two artificial lakes starts to look compelling.

And see, Indiana does have mountains.

What we see here is the esthetics of stuff. With open eyes, such pictures are possible everywhere.

All that really matters are contrasts. Is that what we really want?

Black/White, Vaccinated/Not Vaccinated, is that what we have become?

I had this trail all for myself. Except for the bugs and spiders, of course. Where are my fellow humans?

Maybe it’s time to open my eyes.

Happy Birthday (Chanterelle, Again)

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Another day of heavy rain and warm weather did it, the chanterelles have come out, just in time for my daughter’s birthday, who, alas, just left again.

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My first serious harvest this year was enough for two toasts (with Phantasia, a wonderful local goat cheese, and aragula sprouts),

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as well as a small salad with roasted vegetables.

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Let’s see what else July will bring.

Winter in Summer

After all the spring wildflowers are gone, there is not much left blooming here. So these little flowers came as a surprise when I found them on my Pate Hollow Trail.

What we have here is Chimaphila maculata, or the Striped Wintergreen (an odd name for a summer wildflower).

Endangered, it says for Indiana.

This has been my first time with this rare misfit, and I hope it is here to stay.

The End of Spring

With the end of spring, the Brood X cicadas are finally gone, together with their song.

After 17 years under ground (17 years — a measure of life?) they have emerged for a final dance.

It’s precisely choreographed, and slow.

Who taught them all this?

Then, after a very long embrace, they rest. They now have all the time in the world.

Here are 30 minutes of cicada song, fading into rain at the end.

A Week Later (Brood X – 4)

A week after the first emergence, the cicadas from Brood X are still coming, they and their exoskeletons are everywhere.

There is no point of hiding.

Instead, leaving the exoskeletons for the birds creates an essential diversion.

That the birds live in the land of plenty this year allowed me to harvest for the first time the cherries from my weeping cherry. Tiny, tart, and tasty.

They just have three weeks. Every second counts. Maybe we should live like that, too.