Weekly Walk 50

We hiked our fiftieth hike twelve weeks after the summer solstice. Only two more to go until we’ve finished the full year, and only one more until astronomical autumn (unless we hike late this week, in which case number fifty was our last summer hike).

cimg4482

On this hike, we gathered acorns, and as we scanned the ground for nuts, we spotted many galls.

cimg4472

We also noticed fungi where we’d not noticed them before.

cimg4489Maybe they were always there and we just didn’t see them until we were hunting for acorns, or maybe they’d sprung up in the wake of the rain we finally got the week before.

I'm not even going to attempt to play mycologist and try and identify any of the fungi in this post.

I’m not even going to attempt to play mycologist and try and identify any of the fungi in this post.

Later in the week, we heard an episode of the radio show On Point during which Tom Ashbrook interviewed Peter Wohlleben, author of the book The Hidden Life of Trees. Wohlleben spoke about the variety of ways in which trees communicate with one another and with other species, including through mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus that forms a vast underground network in the soil.

cimg4500

When I heard the interview, I wondered what the fungi we saw might have been communicating under our feet.

cimg4490

On our way back through the corn field, we spotted a monarch butterfly. We were all excited because although we’d reared seventeen monarchs just a few weeks before, this is the first we’d seen in the wild this year.

I grasped my camera and moved carefully, but each time I got close enough to get a photo, the butterfly fluttered a few feet away and alit on a new leaf. It (she, we think) waited until I was close enough to capture its image and then flew to the next shrub before I could focus my camera. Finally it flew into the forest, and we lost sight of it entirely.

cimg4478

When my daughter was two years old, a friend talked to me about her eight-year-old daughter. I looked at my toddler and couldn’t imagine her at age eight. Today I passed along to the parents of a one-year-old the play kitchen I bought when my son was one. Now my children are eleven and seven, and I find that my memories of them at one and two are hazy even when prompted by photos, and I know that in another six or nine years, my memories of who they are at eleven and seven will be vague.

I try to hold onto these moments and ages and fix them in my memory, but like the butterfly by the corn field, I catch a glimpse, but they flit away when I try to draw near enough to see them clearly.

cimg4295

monarchs in the rearing chamber

 

2 comments

  1. amy ann · September 22, 2016

    such beautiful observations of the natural world and what it is to be a parent in an ever changing, ever growing, ever fleeting microcosm we call life. thank you.

    Like

    • Charity · September 22, 2016

      Thank you, amy ann. I’m glad you liked the post.

      Like

Your turn! What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s