The many greedy layers of the forest canopy in Shakerag Hollow gobble the light. It is darker at ground level now than it is in mid-winter. Most understory plants are in hunker-down-and-sip mode.
One or two species, though, know that the forest hosts summer-warmed bees. In sunflecks on the forest floor, these blooms burn holes in the daylong gloam.
Tall bellflower, Campanula americana.
White Avens, Geum canadense.
And, yet more brightness, students from Sewanee’s Young Writers’ Conference, taking a saunter, learning a few tales from the woods. Listening on all sides, perhaps, and filtering. Peering with me through the dim light.
Makes me happy to see youngsters brought in touch with the mystery, magic, of the unobserved, but mighty complex of life that envelopes us, unknown.
Planting seeds of knowledge and understanding of a world that permeates their bodies and ancestral minds. Building broad foundations for lives.
What’s the ratio of girls to boys among your young writers? Looks like a group full of grrrl power!
Yes naive, aren’t we all to the majesty of campanula.
May there always by “dark woods” to explore. There will be thanks to the work of our land-conservation agencies and organizations.
I love your description of the “hunker-down-and-sip” time of the forest floor. So beautiful.