Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Beneath the old tree

One of the first trees to catch my eye upon my first visit to this property is an old tree, species as yet unknown to me, which grows along the driveway a ways up from my cottage. It has beautiful burls and tons of character, and appears to drop nuts in the autumn (based on the casings I've found in the leaf litter).

Reaching out in many directions, this tree is a challenge for me to photograph – there is no way I can get it all in one shot unless I stand far away, which means you can’t enjoy the detail. While I work out just how to share it with you, please enjoy what I found beneath it: the first flowers of the season, and somebody’s root-home.

The flowers look like what I know to be buttercups, except they aren’t growing like buttercups! The buttercups I know grow tall and bushy like herb robert, with broad, dark, fuzzy greens.
These buttercups hug the ground and bear a sort of an “Elizabethan neck frill” of green leaves. They are a beautiful and welcome sight, nonetheless.

As for the little root-burrow, I have no idea who lives here! However, I have seen foxes, rabbits, mice, and other burrowing creatures in the area. I suppose I’ll have to scout before sunup to learn just who calls this quiet nook home.


  1. The flowers? I'm not certain... but if I were a bunny, I'd give 'em a nibble! :)

  2. I'm just guessing, but they look like some sort of ranunculus.

  3. Oooo... thanks SpiderGirl! That's a whole new word for me. I like the way it rolls off the tongue!

  4. Exactly SpiderGirl... I looked up ranunculus... that's it, buttercups! :) I haven't yet found an image online that looks quite like these, but the ranunculus images I did find match the buttercups I know from Washington State.

    Thanks again!

  5. Hey sis, what lives there, the little flowers have a skunk flower look to them...

  6. Hey hey Ducklover! I'm thinking that the home belongs to a fox family, or perhaps even bunnies... I haven't waited around to see who it belongs to, but I have learned that what I thought were bobcats calling from this area are in fact foxes, and I've seen the little foxies running around here... maybe they are about to have pups!

  7. Hello JLB,
    Your comment at Blackswamp Girl's post for September 10th led me here to your tree-filled site and I saw this older post.

    Just in case you haven't ID'd this yellow spring flower by now, your lovely yellow flower does belong to the Buttercup/ Ranunculae family. The common name is Winter Aconite; botanical name Eranthis hyemalis, and this is one of the finest stands I've ever seen, even in botanical gardens. Very cool!

    Annie in Austin


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.