Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

I don't know about you, but my week is turning out to be pretty depressing. That' why for my Wednesday Vignette this week, hosted as always by Anna of Flutter & Hum, I'm returning to the Oregon Coast, at least in spirit. Normally, it bothers me a bit to post multiple images for Wednesday Vignette, but this time the subject absolutely demands multiple views.

During my family's recent trip to Cannon Beach, we hiked through Ecola State Park. One of the most awe-inspiring sights I witnessed was the Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), with accompanying Polypodium scouleri, photographed below. I had been a little disappointed that most of the spruce in this forest seemed to lack the huge lower limbs that become trunks in their own right, as I'm so used to seeing on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington. Then I came across this mighty specimen and its neighbors.

Check out the one in the right foreground. I've seen something similar on the trunks of dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), but never a spruce.

But back to these towering pillars of the forest. Three trees are actually growing in very close proximity, but the one on the left is the most impressive. They're all probably around 5-6 feet in diameter, at least. And check out the two heavy limbs running straight out from the trunk of the largest one, turning 90 degrees to grow straight up as new leaders. Those limbs were at least 3 feet in diameter. Provided you don't have a fear of heights, these are the kinds of limbs you could stroll along easily. Such trees bring me back to the wonder of childhood, when everything seemed bigger and full of possibilities. This may sound strange, but I feel comforted by these reminders that I'm a very young, very small part of a much larger, older universe. The world will keep spinning and life will go on, regardless of what mistakes I make or what terrible things people do in the world.

Well, that was a bit heavy for me. Let's get back to reality by admiring the aerial beds of Polypodium scouleri (leathery or Scouler's polypody). I've seen big colonies of this fern before, but never like this.

 I stood and simply observed these trees for endless moments, relishing the natural beauty. I could go back right now, terrible weather be damned, and simply lose myself in nature.

8 comments:

  1. Those odd limbs are almost wide enough to nap on, providing one doesn't toss and turn. This tree is awesome and hopfully it helped cheered yourself up.
    If not, check out this TED speech, it's inspirational. http://www.ted.com/talks/neil_pasricha_the_3_a_s_of_awesome

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  2. Oh Evan - I know EXACTLY that feeling. The one of being but a small flicker in the rotating eons of time. You're right - it is an oddly calming feeling. That slotted trunk is such an odd phenomenon. I wonder how it happens...?

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    1. Oh, I'm glad I'm not the only one! I'm not sure how that trunk forms in spruces. It's normal in dawn redwoods.

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  3. I used to have a mantra about being a "child of the universe" - I don't know where it came from, other than the prompting of starry skies on dark nights, but it's interesting to find that others conjure the same images. I love those mammoth fern-covered tree limbs.

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    1. I get the same feeling from looking up at the stars, too. Or being close to mountains, or the ocean.

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  4. Nature is the best antidote for all that ails us. Thanks for bringing it into my studio this morning.

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    1. I'm sure at least some of society's problems could be solved if only people spent more time in nature.

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