To Delight A Passerby

January 4, 2014 garden 046


A fallen tree, teeming with life, caught my eye as we were out driving last Sunday afternoon.  Lush and green, it stood out against our wintery landscape of greys and muddy browns.


January 4, 2014 garden 050.

It has been fallen for a few years, from the look of it; lying where some forgotten windstorm left it, normally hidden from view in the edge of the forest.

But the leaves are down now, allowing glimpses into the hidden places.


January 4, 2014 garden 051.

It is an interesting geography of ravines and ridges, creeks and fallen timber.

One glance piqued my curiosity enough that we made a point of stopping on the way home.


January 4, 2014 garden 047.

The ravine is steep enough that I didn’t climb down to take photos close up.  Perhaps another day in my climbing boots I’ll make the hike.

We’ve had abundant rain for a while now, supporting luxuriant moss, lichens, and shelf fungus.


January 4, 2014 garden 049.

And I can only imagine the hidden colonies of tiny insects living below this green carpet of moss, in the bark and interior of the tree.


January 4, 2014 garden 049 (2).

Such a wonder!

Nature uses every resource, allowing nothing to go to waste.  And does it in such style, creating this lovely garden on a falling tree, to delight a passerby on a cold and grey wintery day.


January 4, 2014 garden 052.

“The Holy Land is everywhere”

Nicholas Black Elk


*  *  *

“Knowing nature is part of knowing God.

Faith directs us to the invisible God,

but leads us back from God

to the entire visible world.”

Arnold Albert van Ruler


Woodland Gnome 2015

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

10 responses to “To Delight A Passerby

  1. A nurse log! Isn’t Nature wonderful? I love the shelf fungus on your log, and the greens of the moss. 🙂

  2. So beautiful! There is color everywhere at this time of year if you take a moment to look (or pull over and photograph!).

    Happy New Year!


  3. This is what I love about nature – that everything is recycled – nothing wasted. It gives me such great faith. I love the quote at the end – it sums it up quite well. 🙂

  4. You’re awesome, WG, you know that? You see so much in everything, even a fallen branch. And through your eyes there is so much to see. I confess to only examining my fallen tree trunks or big branches in search of what you call shelf fungus and I think of as tree conchs. I harvested several lovely big ones a few years ago but they disintegrated over time. They must do something with them to preserve them. Lovely post.

    • Good morning, Barbara 😉 YOU are pretty awesome to make such a generous comment and to come along with me on these little forays into the woods 😉 What a beautiful name you give them. “Tree conchs” is so much better than “shelf fungus.” So poetic 😉 I’ve never thought to harvest them- they must have been gorgeous in your arrangements, Barbara. Did you spray them with poly? Don’t know whether that would extend their life any, but varnish or a spray of poly might make them a bit more sturdy. Now you have me wondering whether harvested tree conchs might survive in a moss garden indoors….. Hope you, BH, and the Westies are keeping warm, Barbara- hugs, WG

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