Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to the Earth

Pam at Nature Woman has published a few interesting posts about mushrooms and they got me thinking about decay and life returning the the earth. I found this old tree stump, barely recognizable as such. If you look closely you can see the teeth marks of a beaver. This one stump supports the growth of many, many bits of life. Moss, lichens, grasses, fungi and even a tiny balsam seedling. All of that life, feeding off of, and accelerating the decay of what was once a good sized tree. I wonder how long ago this tree was felled, and how long it will be until it is unrecognizable. Fallen leaves on the moist ground become humus in a single season.

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This birch seems to be decaying from the inside out. The waxy bark is still quite intact while the wood is soft and crumbly.


NatureWoman said...

Ohhh, very nice photos! I love photos of decaying logs with all of the wonderful life feeding off the tree. I love the flowers in the first photo - among everything else.

Susan Gets Native said...

Love the birch photo. Gorgeous.
Nature is quite capable of taking care of things all by itself, huh?

I'm loving Pam's pics, too. A woman in love with's a beautiful thing.