Monday, August 15, 2011

O Frabjous Day!

I've always pretended that I understood Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky." Sometimes when I am looking at small creatures hiding among the wildflowers and shrubs I imagine they are "slithy toves" gyring and gimbling in the wabe." While I try to stay alert to possible encounters with bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes, I am probably more nervous about running into a "frumious Bandersnatch." So, on this frabjous day, I am not celebrating the slaying of anything in the woods but rather the sighting of some of my favorite plants and creatures. Beside my driveway are some attractive Black Oaks for which this blog is named, and I am now checking daily for the arrival of the Oak Treehoppers. They usually arrive just before the leaves start turning orange, so I might still have a few weeks to wait. Meanwhile, the Black Oak hosts such a variety of mosses, lichens, and invertebrates, that I can count on finding something interesting, such as the tiny spider pictured above, every time I investigate. Punctuating the beautiful statement of our oaks are some patches of colorful Oregon Grape, Elderberry, and Thimbleberry (the latter pictured above). O Frabjous Day!
My last day at summer camp was last Saturday. Now I am preparing in earnest for Fall as a naturalist. Preparing several day packs is always fun: one for art supplies and journals, one for keeping track of household chores, one for organizing my son's school work - he's being home schooled, and possibly one for day hikes on which I simply walk, look and think, eat and drink, and don't plan to write or take pictures. That latter type of venture, if done properly, would be called sauntering by Mr. Thoreau. I hope to do more sauntering this year.

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