Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Shaded Trail

Yesterday I wrote about Oak Grove Lake Park
in Chesapeake, Virginia and its restful water views.
Today, we turn our attention to the shaded sides of the trail.

For some reason, ever since I was a kid, when I see woods, 
I imagine the soft footfalls of native Indians making their way purposefully through,
completely at home and in harmony with their surroundings.
And all the more perplexing since I grew up in a region
more likely to see the Indians of the Great Plains
rather than those inhabiting the coastal forests.

But when I saw this scene on the Oak Grove Lake Park trail,
I thought of native Indians skillfully avoiding
the barbed greenbrier and the broken tree: 

And there are lots of trees along the Trail.
I'm not certain if this is an elm, but its leaves look "elm-ish" to me:

 Although the trail cuts through what  is primarily a hardwood forest,
 there are a few evergreens.
In this photo, a tall juniper hugs a nearby tree at lakeside.
Indians would have known the juniper berries
on this cedar weren't edible:

A sweep of pine branches reminds me of clouds.
I wonder if native Indians contemplated this kind of imagery too.

When I saw this tree trunk, I thought of the hollow maple tree
that our dog Rinnie used to seek out as his quiet place.

There are a lot of younger trees in the forest at Oak Grove Park.
I like the parallel pattern these saplings create:

And speaking of pattern,
the lines criss-crossing the bark on this rough tree are eye-catching:

This last photo is my favorite.
 I like the linear quality of these slender trees en masse,
but the part of this composition that attracts my attention
is the dazzling sun spot at the lower center of the frame.
That is the magic of sunlight.
That's probably why the coastal Virginia 
Powhatan and Algonquian tribes worshipped the sun.
No matter how dense the forest, somehow,
a beam of light will always find a way through.
Tomorrow, an introduction to a shiny green vine
 that grabs unsuspecting passersby in the Shire
and holds them in its thorny grasp.

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