Companies of Obstinate Trees

view down hill

In late April, I went with a group of people to explore the 9.4-acre Hayes Farm Park (pdf map) in Etna, NH, including the 4.2-acre King Bird Sanctuary (map of bird sanctuary portion), managed by the town of Hanover.

ourgroupHayesFarmPark29April2015

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“The world is not to be put in order. The world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”

—  Henry Miller

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The park is mostly meadow, including wet meadow and uplands;

nativesmeadowHayesFarmPark29April2015
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lupine
lupine
old Queen Anne's lace bloom
old Queen Anne’s lace bloom
mullein, close
mullein, close
mosses on rocks
colourful mosses on rocks
Hawkweed (Heiracium)
hawkweed (Heiracium)
closer view of Hawkweed (Heiracium)
closer view of hairs on hawkweed (Heiracium)
sedum growing in wet meadow
sedum growing in wet meadow
equisetum (horsetail) in wet meadow area
equisetum (horsetail) in wet meadow area

a black ash-red maple swamp;

black ash maple swamp
black ash-maple swamp
Geum rivale or canadense
Geum rivale or canadense
maybe Solidago or Aster
maybe Solidago? maybe Aster?
maybe Saxifrage Pensylvanica (swamp saxifrage)
maybe Saxifraga Pensylvanica (swamp saxifrage), and peat moss
some ice in swamp
some ice remaining in swamp
denuded tennis ball in swamp
denuded tennis ball in swamp
black ash bark
black ash bark

and a hemlock forest.

hemlockwoodssloperockwallHayesFarmPark29April2015
hemlock woods, slope, rock wall
groupwalkinguphillHayesFarmPark29April2015
group walking up hill from swamp through wooded area
hemlockwoodsHayesFarmPark29April2015
hemlock woods

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“’You know Balbec so well – do you have friends in the area?’

‘I have friends wherever there are companies of trees, wounded but not vanquished, which huddle together with touching obstinacy to implore an inclement and pitiless sky.’

‘That is not what I meant,’ interrupted my father, as obstinate as the trees and as pitiless as the sky.”

― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

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Stone walls, apples, and crabapples offer evidence of the property’s history as pastureland,

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stone wall and adjoining (private) field
stone wall and adjoining (private) field
stone wall along the sheepway
stone wall along the sheepway
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conk tree fungus on apple tree
conk tree fungus on apple tree

while removal of invasive plants — bush honeysuckles, Japanese barberry, glossy buckthorn —

common buckthorn - not as problematic as glossy buckthorn
common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)- not as problematic as glossy buckthorn but still considered invasive

along with widespread planting of natives — wild raisin (Viburnum cassinoides), serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), grey dogwood (Cornus racemosa), elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), lowbush and highbush blueberry, black currant (Ribes nigrum), et al. — will determine to some degree the future uses of this spot by birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, mammals.

blackcurrentsignHayesFarmPark29April2015

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As always, there were surprises and so many interesting things to see.

Spider wasp Pompilidae episyron
Spider wasp (Pompilidae episyron)
old hornets' nest
old hornets’ nest
mossy roots
mossy roots making a heart shape
ground beetle (likely Poecilus lucublandus)
ground beetle (likely Poecilus lucublandus)
boulder
boulder

We even stopped for a lovely snack of cheese, crackers, and clementine oranges along the way.

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“Perhaps walking is best imagined as an ‘indicator species,’ to use an ecologist’s term. An indicator species signifies the health of an ecosystem, and its endangerment or diminishment can be an early warning sign of systemic trouble. Walking is an indicator species for various kinds of freedom and pleasures: free time, free and alluring space, and unhindered bodies.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

 

shovelonhillHayesFarmPark29April2015

 

 

 

 

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