Monday, July 09, 2012


All photos "Paradise Found," near Vermillion Bay, ON. July 8-9, 2012.
* * *

So I spent the weekend at my brother-in-law's parents' cabin on an island near Vermillion Bay, ON.

We went for a walk each day we were there. And I used both my camera and my b-i-l's knowledge of the local flora/fauna.

The boreal forest is achingly familiar from my childhood cabin in Minaki, but I can't say that I ever mushroomed there. And this landscape was slightly different than that of my childhood, mostly birch and cedar with a few pine varieties mixed in.

The mosses and lichens and rock were familiar. I do so love the crunch when you walk on the mosses in sunny spots...

Different trees and different soil from my everyday aspen parkland means different mushrooms. And so I mostly just stumbled around, looking for anything interesting.

What proved most appealing were the slow-growing club lichens, which were extremely happy in that environment. In Assiniboine Forest, they're found in small patches on logs and stay fairly small. On Paradise Found, they were the biggest I've ever seen...and they were everywhere.

Normally, the scarcity of club lichens combined with the density of the individual patches and that fact that they're teeny tiny means that I take lots of pictures and wind up with one or two I like that are sharp.

But here, I could be choosy. I could find patches of just one variety with large specimens. Sigh...

Given my recent trips to various different forest-y places, it feels like I'm synthesizing all this information about the forest(s). I'm not sure how that information or those impressions will emerge but I should note that I'm very interested in the urban/nature essay right now.

Did I mention I rather spontaneously wrote a essay on the differences between a nature poet and a naturalist, about bats in the walls and being on retreat?

Of course, I was avoiding another, more difficult essay I've been asked to submit to an anthology about mothering.

Of course, I'm avoiding writing that essay right now.

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