Posts Tagged lichen

Falling in place.

Black ball maters turn half red when they’re ripe.

Not quite the season’s last ones, but getting close.

Keeping the path clear, through the hay field,
past the garden shed, to the compost.
Can be seen from space.

Mowing standard: grass no more than one snake deep.

Sterilized old chimney rocks built around the culvert
over the north branch of the branch,
forty years ago, all grown in.

Chocolate veined ferns.

The warning, the promise,

it’s starting to fall fast.

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The awakening.

The last moments before springs blows open.

Spongiform moss thing.

Burst chestnuts, gone purple.

Chestnuts, burst, natural.

Before the leaves.

Where grass-like weeds once thrived.

Mossy carpet.

Carpet close.

Weeping cherry, self-selected structure.

The white-bellies that fly in the night.

Just is.

There’s no explanation.


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On the cusp.

The bulbs push shoots up, invisible until they blow apart.

The lichen population is not impressed by spring stirrings.

Boiling, freezing, drought or flood, they’re good, they’re perpetual.

On the shadow side, north facing, the last snow patch lingers.

The branch roars, swollen from the recent rain and the recent snow.

Passing cataracts and icicles,

from the twin springs just below the ridge, down this far,
down to the branch, on to the Mississippi, to the Gulf.

The crocus bulbs have called spring!


The light stripey ones,

delicate and bright,

already sticking to the bee’s knees as she crawls inside

to work, drunk on the golden pollen.

The deep purple clump

And the grandest bloom of all,

serene, imperial,
except for the pollen knocked around her ankles.

Rapture and ravishing.

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Yardly working.

What a difference a week makes.

We got about 14″ at the house a week ago
which revealed some usually invisible travel information.

Did this guy start from a hole in the ground
and make a run for the branch?
Or climb up from the branch to find the hole?IMG_20160124_115150876_TOP

Or this one come out from the porch,
or duck underneath?IMG_20160124_115213161

A hunter, naturalist, or gender-nonspecific scout
could tell if these were from the coming and going
of a narrow-footed mincing sasquatch,
or the launch marks of a rabbit leaping.IMG_20160124_115224884

Most intriguing are the ones that just stop
as if lifted by some racoon rapture.IMG_20160124_115445373

But by this week the snow has gone to ground and gone to air,
melted and sublimated down to traces,
and spring is getting busy.IMG_20160131_140238395

Freed from a foot of snow
clusters of lichen and fungus bloom on a broken birch stick.IMG_20160131_142031567

Rich loam-brown gills under
the dazzle-white caps.IMG_20160131_142016116

The English ivy is unperturbed, by the snow,
or by the mulch of birch, apple, maple, oak and hornbeam leaves
or by the broken sticks of inhabited birch.IMG_20160131_141953766

Spring is coming, or another, or several snows.

Life along the ground abides,
covered or not covered.

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New year walkabout.

Doesn’t matter what I think,
some bear’s been shredding them.


Peck and peck. Repeat.
How much wood? You cannot imagine.


Several layers interlaced living on decay.


More and more, the moss beats back the grass.
The extent of it is new and puzzling.


Evergreen mountain laurel leaves are the thermometer of the woods.
At 43°F they look like this; warmer they lift and flatten;
colder they curl, tighter and tighter, into little tubes at zero.


And here is 25°F, this morning.


Walkabout in wonderland this afternoon.

Happy New Year!

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Looking down, and up, and ahead.

Beetles and microbes are all the company
that we shall have for our animal decomposition.


Fallen, rotting logs transform,


populated and adorned with lichens,

endlessly varied in shape and color

and texture, from delicate lacework

to the hard shelves that jut off trees.


The trees reveal more undressed’
as they shall stay for several weeks more,
the mountains and the sky.


And the line of little badges


that demark our new neighbor.

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Sorry, groundhog, it’s already on.

Somebody’s always got to be first,
no matter the risk,
so comes the crocus.

Another killing frost to come?

Of course.

But, hello, for today.

Leftovers under foot.

Step gently because it is all alive.

Even the rocks, digested by their dressings.

Quartz born in fire, resting on the loam.


 Quartz born in fire, washed by the waters.

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Mushroom meditations.

Some emergent mushrooms are pulled up by the moon.

Some by the sun.


Or Mars.

By Venus.


Or by an Angel.

Some tough and chewy, grapple on for the long run.


Some are social, aligned like the seats in the balcony.

Curtain rising, caught between my shadow and the sun.

Death comes, from Pluto, in the end.
But the flies and beetles and the microbes settled in for a week of feasting.

Up for a while, down for a while,
before long, up again.

Transformed, not ever ended.

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Accidental encounters of a desultory afternoon.

Inside the grand circle of mountain ridges, inside the circle of trees that ring the grass, an abundance of pretty little things.

Beneath the ironwood tree, a fungal family up-reach through the ivy.

Shroom bloom.

Marching order.

But at each center of the tanish, beigeish disks, a spot of blue.

Shroom bloom single.

Blue, why blue?

Our snake this week was a third the length, a quarter the girth, a fiftieth the mass of last week’s blacksnake.
A little garter garden guarder.

Looking left.

Two foot of pure, well, snake.

Looking both ways, tongue forked and flicking, smelling me.


Forked tongue tiny.

Between the snake and the tomatoes a pile of brush.
What’s not to lich?

Brush pile art.

Digesting slowly.

Glad to be coral, in full rut; as shameless, if a bit more delicate, than a baboon’s butt.

Coral crescendo.

Gladolia, hereabouts.

Garden guarders, like the garter, may be verygolds.

Not Solomon.

Don’t stare directly at the fractals.

So nearly stepped on, just inside the kitchen door, a chevron,
an inch and a quarter, weirdly well drafted.

Thy name is symmetry.

Joan of Arc’s shield?

Not impressive as a flyer, kind of a stumble flutter.

Forever flower of France.

Fearless symmetry.

But eclipses my poor powers.

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Incidental garden.


      At the end of a story, the final reveal wants this inevitability. Here it is, and it could not be any different. The past three hundred pages have brought us to here, precisely here. Action, characters, narrative — resolved to this. Would that it could ever comprise such intricate texture and integration of form.

One layer of the biosphere.

Lichen bloom.


        By local legend, lichens require, and their presence proves, clean air. Seems lichely. These assemblies are not something a human can do, only allow to happen, if all conditions are right, and decades pass without a catastrophic interuption. A goddess is near.


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