March 11- up Tupelo creek

There can be no clearer metaphor for the retreat of winter and the advance of spring than the scene playing itself out all around the community.  The snowbanks of winter are quite literally retreating before the advancing tide of tender young shoots.Image

Although the daffodils have begun to flower, it is still the season of the crocus.  They mostly occur in small patches here and there; masses like the one below are generally the exception.

 

Took a walk along the creek that I have started thinking of as “Tupelo Creek,” a seasonal waterway that in wet times of year is a tributary of Tofu Creek.  It branches off in the woods below Tupelo house, and parallels the path from Tupelo to our warehouse.  Most of the snow in the woods is already melted.  All that remained was tiny patches here and there, mostly on the north side of trees. The creek itself had a nice little trickle, the ground saturated with recent snowmelt.

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There was even a little waterfall.  When I see little cascades like this one, I like to imagine that the size scale is all off, and I am looking at a mighty cascade plunging into a deep pool in some far-off mountain range.

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Further upstream, the channel of the creek deepened into what is, for a seasonal rivulet that’s usually not much more than a trickle, a pretty impressive “canyon.”

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Another spot where the “canyon” walls are held close together by four parallel roots bridging the gap.

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At the head of the little “gorge” was this “headwall,” which is probably pretty impressive during or immediately after a storm.  It is a scooped-out area where the flow of water has undercut and washed away the banks, leaving a network of roots hanging down, reaching for the moisture of the pool.IMG_2461 IMG_2466

I continued upstream, past a few pretty little pools like this one, to the spot where Tupelo creek begins, in a flat marshy bit of the woods. IMG_2469

I pumped up the saturation on this photo to make a point, but in fact the moss all over the woods is thick and bright green, clearly thankful for the moist conditions.  Still no leaves on the trees, but the abundant moss certainly gives a verdant tinge to the forest.

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Passing by the place where we are putting in a new fruit orchard– the fruit trees and bushes have been laid out but not yet put in the ground.IMG_2474

During the three-day blackout, we moved our generators around in order to give a few hours of power at a time to the different places in the community that needed it.  Our wellhouse was one of those places; periodically powering our pump allowed us to have a mostly uninterrupted supply of fresh water.  The grassy field beside the wellhouse was, unfortunately, a casualty of the blackout.  IMG_2477

Just before noon, I took a whole cartload of expired veggies down to the newly free-range chickens.  They are truly lords of the compost heap these days.  IMG_2481

Despite their successful foraging, they do come running when they see me pulling up that cart o’ produce!Image

Now don’t that look dee-licious?  Those chickens certainly think so!IMG_2476

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