In the Chinese lunar calendar, 2012 is the year of the dragon
and the last year in the 3-year wood cyle.
Wood is one of the five elements of life energy
and is associated with Spring and familial relationships.
According to Chinese legend, being born
or starting a business enterprise in a dragon year is very auspicious
because the dragon is a sign of great fortune.
Dragon years are also said to bring the unexpected.
I bring all this up because while out walking the other day,
I came upon a tree that had fallen over in a storm
and the broken part looked like a dragon to me.
When I was little, my mother would take
my brothers, sisters and me on walks in spring and summer.
She had a wonderful imagination
and noticed things most people would miss.
Sometimes a cloud that looked like something or
a red-winged blackbird on a fence post
would catch her eye and she would point it out to us.
I guess that's why I like to look for the unexpected in nature.
I particularly like interesting tree trunks.
Like this gnarled round one
or this tall split one that looks like it could walk away
or this ruddy crape myrtle trunk, so smooth to the touch.
This middle trunk is one of my favorites
because of the pattern the lichen makes on the bark.
Usually this tree reminds me of a stoic Indian with paint on his face,
but it also makes me think of little puffs of smoke.
Maybe from a dragon in the woods. Now that would be unexpected.