Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cool Blue Skies

It is almost time for the trees to take center stage. I never lose sight of their presence. They dominate the ecosystem. They are not very photographable though. That dominance can not be conveyed well in a cutout of their whole essence.

I live under them more than I live among them.

What this forest has spent most of the summer doing is talking to me. The sounds of crashing branches and entire trees coming down is a regular call. It can happen quickly or a tree can take weeks slowly descending to the ground, caught up in its neighbors. These sounds do not startle me as much any more. They come so regularly.

Two weeks ago the acorns starting falling. They are not demure in their descent. It is a hard sound like a pellet gun. Methodically dropping.

When there are no cars and trucks, no thundering motorcycles whipping by on the sharp curves of the scenic highway at the top of my drive, when it is quiet, it isn't quiet. The forest is very much alive with it own sound.

The wind, the birds, the insects. Gunfire in the distance. Hound dogs too. There are day time sounds and sounds for the night. The forest is rarely silent.

Today I see the trees anew because the sky I remember, the crystal clear deep blue sky appeared above them. I had to look and marvel once again at a sky so clear and clean. I have read that this sky dwells here in the fall and winter. I am happy to see it.

My fingers and toes will just have to get used to the chill that comes with it. I don't think I was warm until noon and was cold again by five.

But I love these clear blue skies.


Kate said...

What a lovely place you live in. I live in a high plains desert, now, and I miss trees. The upside is no bugs, the downside... no opportunities to crunch along a path filled with autumn leaves.

Carol said...

We get some beautiful blue skies around here, too. Autumn is a beautiful season, but you are going to have to get used to the... cold!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Christopher C. NC said...

Kate you live in an incredibly beautiful place too, and a little colder. I did live in Vail Colorado for three winters when I was younger and had more cold hardiness.

Carol you are too funny. If I whine a little while I adjust you will just have to deal with it.

Pam/Digging said...

I've never thought about what a forest sounds like. Thank you for bringing the sounds to life for me.

That clear blue sky dwells in Austin in the fall too, and we saw a little of it today. In the summer it's often hazy or cluttered with fluffy white clouds.

Christopher C. NC said...

Pam I think if a forest were totally silent it might mean something was wrong. It will be interesting to see how the sound changes with the seasons.

chuck b. said...

Hmmm...I don't think California acorns make much noise when they fall. I could be wrong about that, and it might depend on the acorn.

I'm curious--do your acorns seem viable, or are they substantially worm and bug-eaten?

Christopher C. NC said...

The main Oak tree I have noted at our place is the White Oak, Quercus alba. The acorns are 3/4 of an inch long and quite hefty.

They are robust and very healthy looking so I am sure they are viable. I have seen plenty of seedling Oak trees

The White Oaks here are up to 80 feet tall so the acorns are hitting leaves and branches on the way down before they even land on the leaves, branches and shrubberies on the ground.