Tuesday, May 7, 2013

And a dash of color

There's not to many things that stand out more in the forest, than an out of place dash of color.

Even though the woods are often full of objects to look at, most of those objects fall into the same color palette: greens, browns, some grays.

That's what makes the highly colored elements so strikingly beautiful. Take the Trillium here to the left as a prime example. The fuscia of the petals caught my attention from a solid 10 yards away. After 3 hours of hunting turkeys, and a 1/4 mile hike to explore a new area, here is this lone sentinel of color growing next to the trail. No other flowers around this one. A few hay-scented ferns, still tightly wound in the "fiddle-head" stage, but nothing close to this Trillium in color. While I'd love to add this beautiful plant to my home garden, he belonged to those woods. I'll visit that area next spring to see if maybe another plant has sprouted up next to this one.

Then there was this fellow traveller. Technically a Red-Spotted Newt, though most of us just called them orange salamanders whenever we saw them growing up. Interestingly enough This is considered the "terrestrial stage" because after being hatched in a pond, they take to the land to scout out a new pond where they will mate and continue on their species. The terrestrial stage helps to avoid inter-breeding, and keeps the gene-pool free of defects.

Look at the overview of where I found this newt travelling. He's easy enough to miss, until you see that out of place bright orange color in the center of the frame.

That's the joy of springtime in the woods. Sure our home gardens are popping up with daffodils and tulips. And they provide a welcome change of color, but the woods have been so quiet and devoid of any color that coming across these two examples of bright colors in nature, is a sight for sore eyes.

Unfortunately my boys weren't with me on this trip. They aren't old enough to head to the woods and hunt with Dad. They are old enough to hike around my uncle's cabin, and that's exactly what we'll be doing this weekend. I don't know who's more excited me and Jen, or the boys.

Robert is very excited because he has a new telescope and using it in the city hasn't been a really good time. We'll be on top of Cole Hill in Pittsfield, PA. Not the darkest point in PA, but it is in fact quite close. About 100 yards in either direction from camp there will be open fields where we'll set up the telescope and try to find a good view of the heavens. Aiden is quite excited himself. We had a small backyard bonfire on Saturday night and once the fire was up and running the first thing he asked for was a marshmallow.

Amazing the things kids remember, he'll be 3 in July and hasn't been camping in nearly 10 months, but he remembers that fires are for marshmallows.

What are your favorite springtime memories or past times?

What do you look forward to when going camping?

Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear about your adventures.

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