“Tis education forms the common mind,
Just as the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.”
I’m not sure why the photo above appears so grainy (aside from having a crappy camera that works just well enuf to keep around). It’s the season of slanting sunlight, and while I wasn’t shooting directly into the sun, the angle was sharp, so we’ll pretend that accounts for it.
When Flike and I were rambling about Roundrock on our last visit, we came upon this bent sapling not far from the entrance. When I’m not there, this is the bit of Roundrock I often find myself thinking about. It’s the western part of my rectangular forest, level ground filled with upland trees and even some actual soil. The cabin and lake are at the other end of the forest, so I don’t tend to get to this western part as often as I’d like. But the day was mild and the dog was eager, so we took off afoot and our wandering lead us here.
I like to think that you could plunk me down in any part of my forest and I would know instantly where I was. Even so, when I came upon this bent twig, I was surprised that I had never seen it before. Just beyond this part of the forest, to the west, is Good Neighbor Brian’s meadow atop the ridge. Any weather coming from the west first hits the forest here. We often find downed branches or even snapped trees in this part of our woods, presumably because the high winds aren’t blunted yet by the trees. So I suppose I should not have been surprised to find a bent sapling I had never seen before.
But it looked too perfect, inviting a person to walk under it. Imaginative Pablo paused, though, fearing it was actually some portal to a different world, so he let Flike pass under it first. Nothing happened, so Pablo followed.
We continued on our ramble, but not before I came across an “inclined” tree:
There was much guffawing here on the humble blog when I first wrote about thong trees (ten years ago), but they are an actual thing. This particular White Oak is not a thong tree (most trees deformed in this way aren’t), but it has the distinctive shape. Since it is in the stormy western part of my forest, I’m not surprised that it would have suffered some mishap that bent it to the ground and caused it to take that abrupt turn skyward. What did surprise me, though, was that I had never seen this tree before. I admit I don’t stomp about this part of the woods much anymore, but in our early days, this was where we frolicked. This is one of the areas where I would know instantly where I was (if you plunked me down, that is).
So Roundrock continues to surprise me. I once sat for an hour beside a small pond, waiting for a person who never arrived, and I was amazed by the number of things I witnessed in my receptive stillness.