After hiking and painting on The Big Beech Woods Trail, I had lunch, took on some fluids and had a look at the trail map. I decided to head out for the gum tree forest. Stupid me, I didn't know exactly what a gum tree looked like. I didn't even give it a thought.
All I knew was that my Mom wanted, Daddy to dig up a gum tree because it had the most most gorgeous star shaped leaf. Daddy didn' t want to do it for two reasons: it colonizes by underground runners, and it has prickly seed pods a little smaller than a golf ball. But, of course, Mommy got her way!
I suppose I saw gum trees, but they must have been tall, mixed with beeches, huge oaks and smaller maples, and pawpaws, too.
It was a nice hike, and I decided just to hike. No painting gear. I found interesting stuff on the trail. It's funny, when you spend enough time in the woods, things start to jump out from the ordinary. Usually it's color related, but sometimes, you wonder why you notice something, for instace, the plant in the first photo. It was off trail about a foot, and you could easily walk right by it. Squaw 'something' is what Betty called it.
The last photo is a rather freshly fallen limb off of a tulip tree, the yellow poplar. My Dad spoke with reverence about this tree, so I've never forgotten it. The limb was blocking the trail. I had to walk off trail to get around it. By doing that, I found at the leafy end the bud of the spectacular flower of this tree.