Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Golden Grove Man Acquires a Sock, and Other Wonders of the New River Trail

 Look what the owl man has gotten!  Someone has carefully pulled a striped sock over his foot, and (maybe) the same person has strategically placed a golden leaf in his lap.

P and I walked the New River Trail (so-named many years ago when it was first cleared to distinguish it from the original river trail) all the way to its ens, then looped around the farm fields and back through the college vegetable and herb gardens to the golden grove and back home.  Gorgeous late afternoon sunset, birds calling, sweet smelling breeze every now and then.
A little past the grove of giant bamboo is a small bird hide overlooking a wetlands pond.  We crouched inside it for a few minutes and spotted this turtle catching the last sunlight from its place on a log.
 Here's another bird hide further along the trail.  We didn't go inside this one but it looks out at the same pond only from a westerly-facing angle.  And on the right is what we think was a chainsaw training practice log.  The students manage the forest on campus, and there is a student crew called the chainsaw crew who clear fallen trees and trim other trees.  This log was wedged into an upright position inside an enormous stump.  Angled cuts were made wherever a side branch had come out.
 Down the road a bit (we were off the trail and on the farm road by now) we saw many mamas and babies.  One of these mamas was stretched out with her chin on the ground dozing while her white-faced baby looked around.
We also saw very wooly sheep in a fenced pasture with the milk cow.  There were some lambs too, but none as astonishingly wooly as these.

When we got home I drew the yellow celendine that's blooming in our front garden.  The yellow color on the drawing is sap from the plant.  I first learned what this plant was at the medieval garden at the Cloisters in Manhattan.  Yellow celendine sap was used as a golden paint in Medieval manuscripts when the budget wasn't big enough to afford gold leaf!  I searched and searched for it when I got back home.  I could never find it in the woods or fields.  Then one day I realized it was growing in one of our gardens.  I had bought it as Celendine Poppy, but it's the same plant!


  1. How cool that you used the sap to color the drawing. Your story about searching for the plant reminds me of the Wizard of Oz -- what you were looking for was in your backyard all the time.

    The image of the mother cow with her head on the ground makes me smile.

  2. yes, I remember feeling like that cow looked when I had a wide awake new baby!