A Quick Look Below The Surface Of The Forest Floor

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Bracken Fern 011120” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The cool damp air is thick with the scent of the moss as I approach the the steep hillside. I have come to this spot on the edge of my property to look for signs of the seasonal progression. A leaf that seems pushed up a little or a mushroom starting to form.

The ground here is almost vertical. In fact it’s so steep that have been tempted to carve a set of stairs directly into the earth to allow for better access to the little bench above. The soil depth is almost nonexistent in this spot. Just below the moss is mineral earth. There’s no duff because the steep ground allows the rainwater to run down and carry the soil nutrients with it. But the moss seems to require very little from the soil. I have recently learned that science is interested in how this works and has found that there’s a special relationship between the moss and bacteria that might be feeding it. The nuts and bolts of how this happening is a little beyond my ability to go into but it allows the moss to colonize places where other plants can’t go. The moss builds a thick layer and the ferns come. They colonize the moss and I’m willing to bet that they are also being fed by the same bacteria. At some point there’s a fungal mat that connects it all together and allows the plants to actually communicate chemically. The really amazing thing is that the cutting edge research is said to indicate that the connections allow this team of colonists to co-opt disease causing bactira and force them to work to the benefit of the plants. The researchers also say that when artificial fertilizer is introduced into the system that this delicate balance is disrupted and the disease causing bactira is no longer able to be co-opted by the colony and goes back to being a disease. The implications are that the very thing we have been taught to do to make crops healthy could be causing crops to fail. I have to do more research on the subject and I’ve given a very simplified version of the story. But if it’s something that you’re interested in my source is The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast.

But here in the forest everything seems to be working the way it did when God set the world in motion. The bacteria, moss, fungus and ferns along with other plants are turning bare ground into rich forests. It seems to happening fairly quickly too. I stripped this very spot a couple years ago when I needed the moss for a project. Now I can barely tell that the cycle had ever been disturbed.

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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The Alder

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Alder Catkin 120819m”. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My breath condenses into long curls as I walk the road towards the salmon colored traces that I noticed as I drove by.  In the past I would refer to the winter as “The Gray World” but this year I’ve decided to make it priority to search for the Color of winter. In doing so I have discovered that our world is always in bloom.  You just need to look a little closer.

I found subtle tones of red and pink as well as pale blues and greens were everywhere.

The feature image is the male catkin of an alder tree and it seems to still have some pollen. Unlike the flowers of the warmer weather the alder depends on the winter winds to carry it’s pollen instead of insects.

The female catkin of Alder tree looks like a little pinecone but has the same beautiful red tones.

The female catkin of Alder

The scales will develop into seeds and they are also carried away by the winds.

The Alder grows near water and has a tight grain that is used for fine woodworking although it is a little on the soft side when compared to something like maple. Still, the wood is honey colored and makes a great veneer. And if you’re a fan of Fender guitars you can thank the alder for the balanced tones. 

The Alder does play a roll in soil conservation. It forms a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria and forms nodules similar to legumes. It’s sometimes called a pioneer species and while that’s debatable for various reasons it was the first tree to spring up on my property after the 2012 derachio. My forest was pretty battered by the straight line wind and so the alder became a personal symbol of renewal in my life. The one tree in particular sprouted next to my driveway and I simply allowed it grow. Unfortunately, the root system is threatening to destroy my pavement and so the tree has to go. ( don’t worry, I now have plenty of trees to enjoy)

On a final note, I am aware that the inner bark of the alder has traditionally been used by herbalist to treat various conditions. However, it’s not one of the medicinal plants that I have studied to a point where I’m comfortable going into details.

Mostly, alder serves as a a source of enjoyment and beauty in my life. It’s a little pop if color to break up the gray of winter.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤