Stories From The Woods, Skunk Cabbage and Bones

One of the ponds in the woods

I followed the water as it leaked from the shallow pond down the hill.

Water slid over the collage of leaves filling up small pools edged with bubbles. Last year’s leaves clung to fallen twigs and branches, damming the spring creek and creating the mini waterfalls and pools.

It wasn’t my intention to follow the water, but as I walked through the woods, the spring ponds were everywhere.  Places that were just low-lying the last time I was there were now thick with shiny leaves under the shallow water.

Arms out for balance I stepped one booted foot in front of the other over a decaying log that spaned one pond.  And when I got to the other side, there was a skunk cabbage flower waiting for me.   A reward for crossing the pond instead of walking around it.

Skunk Cabbage

I peered into the thick sculpted leaf at the golf ball fruit dotted with seeds.  It is the most exotic flower I encounter in The Orhpaned Woods. Each time I see one I wonder at its form as if I’d never seen one before.

They don’t last long.  Soon bright green leaves will grow tall around the fruit, then unfurl like a hosta.

One of the tiny bones from the owl pellet next to a nutshell on the moss-covered stump.

The soaking rain not only filled up the depressions in the woods but soaked an owl pellet, on a moss-covered stump, into a mush of fur and bone.

The pellets I’ve found in the past, (what an owl regurgitates after swallowing a small rodent whole) were densely packed into a two or three-inch oval.

But the rain revealed the tiny bones, like glistening jewels. I recognized some of their shapes from the deer bones I found in the past.   The same kind of bone, only so much smaller.

more bones from the owl pellet

It was 70 degrees yesterday, but today it was cold again.  Soon the ticks will come and the bushes will fill out making these kinds of walks in the woods more difficult.

Then I’ll walk the paths again.

But not yet.  There’s still time to wander, to walk without knowing where I’ll end up and what I’ll find.


2 thoughts on “Stories From The Woods, Skunk Cabbage and Bones

  1. So many treasures to be found before everything bursts forth in springtime glory! Then a whole new set of treasures will be waiting!

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