The mystery of the green beads path

Most Bluecircle months yield discovery.  In March the melting drifts finally gave way to brown sand and sticks, but colder than usual weather delayed the first bits of green that promise the growing season ahead.  On cloudy days the Conservancy woods looked as much dead as alive.  Toppled and broken trees, victims of storms or disease, mutely block paths or place heavy burdens on their standing neighbors.  But swaying of still limber treetops in the afternoon wind argues that the broken grove will survive.

 

 

Green beads turned from a sandy path

Green beads turned from a sandy path

 

IMG_1139So what about the mystery?  A day or two after St. Patrick’s Day the thin roots of an uprooted tree bled green, dripping glassy beads into the sandy crater where it recently stood.  If it had not fallen at the edge of a walking path, and if its limbs and branches had not obstructed other ways up the hill the beads would not be seen – unknown they would have washed back into the sandy subsoil.

There were no holes in these beads so they would not have come from a broken string.  There were too many to have decorated lost jewelry, or a sash.

To be entangled in  roots of a substantial tree they must have been lost many years ago.  Their past is a unknown – but those that remain on the path have already rejoined the woodland cycle of growth and regeneration.

 

Wind (too much) in the treetops

Now that the leaves are down the full extent of damage to the mature trees around the Bluecircle is apparent.  Trees between the lake and top of the hill had the least protection from storm winds blowing from the northwest and many tall, but relatively young tulip poplars with 8-10 inch trunks were damaged.  Brittle honey locust and soft maples were pruned wherever they grew.  Some will survive, and others will need to be removed once the ground is frozen.  Sadly an old maple, probably nearly 100 years old, has developed a large split in its main trunk and now threatens both buildings and the electrical power lines to Pomona Point.  A large red spot on the trunk has marked it for removal.  A few oak seedlings sprouted in its shade last summer and in the sunny space soon inherited they may mature into shade for the next generations.