Sycamore bark, with its camo-patterns of gray, green, ghost white and cocoa brown, enchants me. I'd love to wear a dress of sycamore bark, if I wouldn't be mistaken for a deer hunter.
We planted a sycamore in our side yard, watched it grow to pyrimidal young prince, only to have its top break out in a dreadful fall windstorm in September '10. I know it will recover, but it's upsetting to see our proud giant beheaded. I'm looking forward to seeing it send up a new leader, to see it grow up with a kink in its trunk.
Today Bill removed the last of its broken branches, making the aspect less upsetting. Now, to wait. A man once told my dad he wasn't going to plant fruit trees because it takes too long for them to bear. My dad replied, "Might as well plant them. You're waiting anyway."
Dad's been popping up in my thoughts a lot lately. The wisdom he gave me, I pass on to my children. He never knew them, but he informs their thoughts. And so he lives on.
Some Limosin cattle were peeking shyly out at us from behind their hay rack. The sun lit their ear fringes, giving them an enchanting rim of light. I love Limosins almost like I love Jerseys.
Canon G-11 is really good at that. The photos have an almost surreal quality, as you make out details of trees hundreds of yards away even as you're getting a closeup of the plant in question. Of course, to accomplish this, you often have to drop to your knees. That's OK. I do a lot of that anyway in the course of my Science Chimping.
The fruits have a wonderful spongy pink capsule that bursts open and shows the red pericarp to great advantage. I'm guessing they're trying to attract birds as dispersal agents with all this color. I imagine waxwings, hovering. Mmmmm. Bluebirds, too.
It's warm enough on this early winter day to make Chet Baker pant. He runs circles around me as I walk, always staying in earshot and racing back at my call, as a good dog will.
The grass is too inviting, so he stops to graze awhile. This is his grass-eating face, with his muzzlepuffs all pulled up and out of the way. He's being a Holstein for a moment. The world's smallest Holstein, with grass. Without milk.
I walk a little farther and find a Little Yellow butterfly, Eurema lisa. I'd found it in Virginia, but never before seen it in Ohio. This year I've seen two--one in my yard, and one here on Dean's Fork. They're irregular vagrants, coming up from the south in the fall. Much more common near the coast than inland--I'm lucky to see them here at all. I love butterflying in part for that element of uncertainty. Turns out it was a big year for Little Yellows in Ohio and elsewhere. I learned that on Facebook, from Kenn Kaufman. Facebook can be good.
That dull brownish spot on the rear margin of its hindwing, its tiny size, and its furiously rapid low flight render it instantly identifiable, if not photographable! Count this a pretty good shot of a Little Yellow.
I give a little whoop of joy and walk on.