Up the holler
I realized Monday that
I'd never explored all the way up the holler behind our farm. When
we first moved here, I didn't want to trespass on someone else's
property, but a year or so ago, the owner of that property mentioned
that he didn't mind if I walked there since we let his son hunt down
onto the adjacent parts of our property. So I set off with the
camera to explore.
Long-time readers will
know that our farm seems to completely lack rocks --- not so up the
holler! Before long, I came across mossy boulder fields,
rock-loving ferns and liverworts, and even a pretty waterfall.
Granted, our main creek was at flood stage, so this waterfall on the
little spur creek might not exist in dry weather.
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about half a mile climbing straight up, an old tire in the creek
suggested I was approaching civilization, so I looped back toward home,
this time walking on contour along the side of the hill. Along the
way, I discovered another perfect stump-dirt tree,
but I had nothing to collect the prime potting soil in (and doubt I'll
climb that high with a bucket). This tree is an ancient beech just
like my favorite stump-dirt tree, suggesting that something about that
species makes the best potting soil --- I've rooted around in the rotten
center of many other trees without finding such black gold. Maybe
rotting beech wood hosts a particularly good species of fungus or
I'm afraid that after the halfway point, though, I stopped taking photos and started writing the sequel to Watermelon Summer
in my head. Oops. I really meant to write a non-fiction
ebook or two before scratching that itch, but it'll probably be good for
me to at least start another fiction piece while all of the lessons of
the first are fresh in my mind. And if people like the fiction, the sequel will be ready to go that much sooner.
I hope you're taking advantage of the winter lull to explore the wider world!