Friday, October 19, 2012

Where the deer and the squirrels roam...

I grabbed the camera on my way out yesterday, a quick trip to town for ricotta to make lasagna. If I don't get some pictures soon, the leaves will all be off the trees. This summer's drought and record high heat has already taken it's toll on many trees that dropped leaves early to save themselves. Mother Nature has a way of persevering.

The colors are not near as bright as a normal fall, the mountains here are dotted with hardwoods mostly and a few cedars and pine trees. Oaks turn a golden or orange, poplars a bright yellow and the reds are dogwoods or maples. There are hickory, elm, ash and walnut trees too, and species native to Arkansas like Chinquapin and Maple Leaf Oaks. 

These mountains above Beaver Lake where we live have pioneer species of trees like red cedar, sweetgum, sassafras, locust, sumac, and persimmon. Along the lakes and streams willows, cottonwood and bald cypress are pretty common. 

Not too long ago, there was a logging company that came in and thinned a hillside off Old Prairie Creek Road. There was some concern at the time that they would damage the area, take too much, but in reality they did the forest a favor. You can see in these pictures that the woods here are overgrown, packed. When that happens, trees are crowded and fight for enough moisture and light to thrive. 

We're still down from normal rainfall, a deficit of almost 10 inches for the year. Sometimes we make it up over the winter and spring, but some of the trees are stressed now after two hard summers. 

I love this drive home, along the lake, curvy and hilly you can't go fast so you have time to unwind and enjoy the scenery. It's a trick that Mother Nature does, makes us go slow so we pay attention to what really counts. 

Home Sweet Home where the deer and the squirrels roam... at least here on Granny Mountain!


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