Enchanted Woods

Phlox flowers in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

The air was cool and damp heavy with the smell of wet wood. Nearby, a fallen tree propped upright by its neighbor creaked. The birds flew in the tops of the trees their movements given away by displaced branches and floating song. The sunlight danced in quilted patches across the woodland floor. My heart ached torn between happiness for the moment and sadness at its end.

It was stunningly beautiful in the early morning hours last Friday. I watched the sunrise as I drove north on the highway to the Arboretum. It was a morning meant for the word Rejoice. I visited the woods for a couple of hours each morning from Friday to Monday. There were storms over the weekend and, by Monday, everything was soaked. Each time a breeze shifted the leaves, drops of water fell on my head.

It started to rain as I was returning to the car on Monday. I saw a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye. It was one of the Eastern Bluebirds. I didn’t try to take his picture then. I don’t think my camera would like being in the rain. If the weather permits, I am planning on going back this weekend in the early morning on either Saturday or Sunday. I would like to look again at the pink mystery wildflowers, practice taking pictures of the birds, and see what new flowers have bloomed in the gardens and in the woods.

May 23rd, 2014 (Friday)

A Buttercup wildflower in the woods at Iowa Arboretum, May 23, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A Buttercup flower, May 23, 2014.

A buttercup wildflower in the woods at Iowa Arboretum, May 23, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A Buttercup flower, May 23, 2014.

Pink mystery wildflowers in the woods at Iowa Arboretum, May 23, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

Pink mystery wildflowers, May 23, 2014.

A close up of the pink mystery wildflowers in the woods at Iowa Arboretum, May 23, 2014, "Enchanted Woods." The lengths of the tiny flowers are less than a 1/4 of an inch.

A close up of the pink mystery wildflowers, May 23, 2014. The lengths of the tiny flowers are less than a 1/4 of an inch.

A Eastern Bluebird in the woods next to the parking lot at the Iowa Arboretum, May 23, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

An Eastern Bluebird in the woods next to the parking lot, May 23, 2014.

May 24th, 2014 (Saturday)

May Apples in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 24, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

May Apples, May 24, 2014.

Wild Columbine flowers in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 24, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

Wild Columbine flowers, May 24, 2014.

A Wood Anemone flower in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 24, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A Wood Anemone flower, May 24, 2014. The flower is between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch wide.

Wood Anemone flowers in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 24, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

Wood Anemone flowers, May 24, 2014.

A Buttercup flower in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 24, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A Buttercup flower, May 24, 2014.

May 25th, 2014 (Sunday)

A Northern Cardinal perched near the top of a tree at the Iowa Arboretum, May 25, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A Northern Cardinal perched near the top of a tree, May 25, 2014.

Wild Columbine flowers in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 25, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

Wild Columbine flowers, May 25, 2014.

May 26th, 2014 (Monday)

Oak tree branches hanging over a path at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

Oak tree branches hanging over a path, May 26, 2014.

New oak tree leaves in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods." A little under a month ago, the leaves were only buds on the branches. Now, they are bigger than my hand!

New oak tree leaves, May 26, 2014. A little under a month ago, the leaves were only buds on the branches. Now, some of them are bigger than my hand!

Phlox flowers in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

Phlox flowers, May 26, 2014.

An arch made of tree branches over a path in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

An arch made of tree branches over a path in the woods, May 26, 2014.

A May Apple flower in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A May Apple flower, May 26, 2014.

A Wood Anemone flower in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 26, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A Wood Anemone flower, May 26, 2014.

On the Sunday before this last one, I went for a walk on the woodland paths in the late afternoon. It was too windy for taking photographs. I heard leaves rustling a short distance away. I looked in the direction of the sound and saw a chipmunk standing perfectly still on a fallen tree branch.

A chipmunk in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, May 18, 2014, "Enchanted Woods."

A chipmunk in the woods, May 18, 2014.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

 

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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3 Responses to Enchanted Woods

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    I really like the oak tree pictures. Those look like they should be on the cover of a book somewhere! You have inspired me to go walking in the meager woods around my home. Unfortunately my dog is severely anti-social and downright predatory to smaller animals but I’ll just have to find a way around that. Did you already know the name of all the flowers or did you look them up?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚ I thought the drooping branches of the oak tree looked like they were dripping leaves. One of the things that impressed me last weekend was the volume of Green. It looks perhaps like I exaggerated the colors. Nope. It was radiating green. This was especially true after all the rain. If you look at the oak leaves closely, you can see the water droplets. They were also on the flowers that day. The May Apple flower has its leaf as an umbrella, but it was still wet.
      I knew some of the flowers and had to look others up πŸ™‚ I haven’t found the little pink ones any place yet. I knew the Buttercups and the Phlox. I have seen many little white flowers in the woods. There are a quite a few different ones. I have some more of a different plant for later. This is the first year I have seen the Wild Columbine. I didn’t know its name. I think it looks really interesting. The variety of shapes and colors of the flowers never ceases to amaze me. The weekend before this last one, the little Wood Anemone flowers were everywhere, but they didn’t last long. I only found a few last weekend.
      On Monday, I startled a couple of deer in the woods. I have seen the bluebirds in the woods and on Monday I saw what I thought was a woodpecker, but might be a “Yellow-bellied Sapsucker” according to the bird book. It didn’t stay still long enough for a photograph. I have to get faster!
      I imagine your dog probably would create something of a ruckus πŸ™‚ There is a lot of activity even in a small woods. Next week (I hope), I am going to have posts on two unexpected wildlife sightings I made in the park and small line of trees next door to my apartment. If you do venture into the woods, I would suggest some bug repellent. I have been putting Dr. Schulze Bug Barrier and Bug Block on my skin and some of my clothes, respectively. I still had a mosquito bite me on the back of my hand which didn’t have anything on it because I wiped it off so I wouldn’t get any on the camera. Next time, I am putting some on the back of my hand. If you chose a day when there is a good breeze and walk swiftly, the bugs aren’t too bad. Stopping to take photographs, though, made me a still target.

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Shady πŸ™‚

        A big smile for you! Being funny again, I see πŸ™‚

        As it happens, I am one picture away from a new post. I think there will be two new posts by the end of the day since I have decided that there are too many pictures to put them all in one. If you have a moment before you turn in for the night, please visit again. If not, they will be waiting for you in the morning πŸ™‚

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