Things in my backyard—
Well these aren’t literally in my back yard, but a quick trip down the coast last fall and a stop at Beach 1 near Kalaloch, Washington revealed this anomaly in the Sitka Spruce growing in and around the Olympic National Forest. The rounded knobs are tumors, possibly caused by a virus that damages the growth cells and makes them grow more rapidly than normal. The result—these burls.
Burls that look perverted
Among animated branches in the wind
Cause impassioned longing for the sun.
Three word Wednesday: pervert; animate; impassioned.
The winds howled as only the winds on the plains of South Dakota can howl. At first we drove through terrain reminiscent of a mars photo. It was void of life, or so it seemed. Deep crevices and ashen soil reminded me of the volcanic ash after the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State. I’ve been here, in the South Dakota Badlands, before, many times. But the wonder of this part of our country still intrigues me.
This is a bizarre land of erosion created buttes and pillars, canyons and spires, and pinnacles and gorges. It is a true example of how something so very desolate can also be something very beautiful. As the sun changes position the colors change from reds to sandy grays and lavender. Around each bend in the road the terrain changes, from tall and spire-like, to deep and canyon-like.
Just as you think there is no life possible here, you come upon an example of a fossil, a patch of grass, or a sign that says, “beware of snakes.”
You can’t see the tiny snowflakes, but they were falling. I guess that means summer is really over up here.
This is all I was able to photograph, but the wild flowers on the trek across the pass looked like spring.
Not quite so close.