Sunday, December 04, 2011

when a tree falls

There is an oak that has stood beside our house for the last few years, leafless and dead.  The thing about oaks is that even when they've given up the ghost, they're still strong and will continue to stand.  Until they don't.  Unlike poplars that will fall at the slightest provocation, even when healthy.  We've been playing roulette with this tree, banking on its ability to stand, for a while now.  The time came yesterday for us to take it down.

This tree was encrusted with lichens and mushrooms and having it down on the ground gave me a chance to take a closer look at them.  I find them endlessly fascinating and inspiring and took gobs of photos.  (click on them to get a little closer look)

Aren't they fantastic?  I feel very inspired by their shapes and colors.

Despite all of the fungal growth the heartwood was still in pretty good shape so I've pulled a pile aside that is headed to my own wood pile to become brooches and necklaces and buttons.  My youngest was filling her pockets with lichen-covered twigs (her "special" sticks) and they will no doubt decorate our countertops and windowsills.  The rest will be cut for firewood and will keep us warm in winters to come.

The toy truck that bore the brunt of the falling branches will be slightly less useful.

Happy Sunday everyone.


Anonymous said...

Lisa: Wait. Wait.....Don't take the log yet. I gotta take a few more pictures. ....I said, stop!

Husband: I gotta cut it before it starts to snow.....tap. tap. tap...Aren't you done yet?

Boys: You killed my truck!

Em: Mama, I want bwown fans like this on my favvvvorite red velvet dwess ...*pointing to the 7th lichen/mushroom photo*

"A snapshot in the woods at the Jordans"

Mel said...

Oak trees grow the best moss and lichens around here, don't they? Your pictures are wonderful, and I love that your daughter collects the special sticks. We have a much larger oak that took a huge lighting strike two seasons ago, and it is struggling mightily to survive, but I think we'll be forced to cut it soon. It's sad to see so many of it's branches bare. Luckily, there are many acorn sprouts available to fill the space, eventually.
Too bad about the truck!

Anonymous said...

ouch, too bad for the tree, but thank goodness you are able to give it a second life in making new things with its wood.
ouch for the truck too. Oops. ;-)
Have a jolly Sunday too xoxo

Maryann said...

Your photos are wonderful...capturing nature's art! Very inspiring as always!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Okay Karen, which tree were you hiding behind because that's spot-on! lol!

Mel - it is always a little sad to see one go. The lichens do love them though, you're right. In the dead of winter I still get to see green in the form of the mint green lichens that cover our trees. Gotta love it.

Sonia - it makes me eager to get out to the woodshop, even if it is unheated and cold.

Maryann - thank you so much!

Margie Oomen said...

those lichenscapes are fantastic lisa

Unknown said...

Funny, my camera's eye spied lichens and mosses here on my beach walk yesterday afternoon! So photogenic, these little plants! your oak lichens are beautiful - thanks for sharing these great photos. Happy week to you, sus

Glo said...

Those orange lichens remind me of the ones growing on the terracotta tiles that I sent you photos of. I wonder if they are related at all, so many miles and climates apart


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