Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nurse Log

Today is dark, gray, cool and calm. When I first walked out of the door, it reminded me of the early mornings when I would go duck hunting with my dad. I always hoped that we would walk instead of standing thigh deep in a 40 degree marsh.

I saw a ruddy duck just as I started out today. What appears to be a rock with the trees growing out of it, just left of the canoe is called a "nurse log". It is a western red cedar that probably was left behind back when logs were floated through this area to the mills. This one is about 7 feet in diameter, but it is only a short section, some 15 feet long. Cedars are the matriarchs of the NW forests. They provided basketry materials for Native Americans and grow so large and so long that they very much define the areas that they grow in. After they've fallen or been cut down, they continue to nurture by providing place and nurishment for other trees that take root in their remains. I know where there is a large cedar stump (large means 10 ft high and about 10+ feet in diameter) that has 13 full size trees growing from it. This one is growing birch trees and nice variety of mosses and grasses.

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