a brief moment for beauty

Monday we were doing some chainsaw work around the edges of an oak woodland, getting fire lanes prepped for the prescribed burning season. Cutting fire lanes allows us to more quickly and safely cover more ground with the same amount of staff. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention…

Most of the flowers by now have turned to seeds. Pollinators are migrating, hibernating, or receiving their final meals before dying as adults. At this time, we usually turn to colorful leaves for the fall splendor beauty. But leaves don’t have all the color yet.

But in a wet patch in the woods we stumbled across several of these beauties:

Trying my best at a quick phrase to describe the scene in a few words, I came up with this:

Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack uses color as a bully pulpit

Not my best work (or my best photo), but it’s the first thing that came to mind.

I at first thought that these were fruits of Arisaema triphyllum, (Jack-in-the-pulpit) though I had a suspicion that I was wrong.  When I returned the following day to collect seed I noticed that the shriveled vegetation was still attached. It was distinctive enough that I realized it was Jack’s cousin, the Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium).  I’ll take the seeds to a less biodiverse patch of wet woods to help spread the population.

Here’s what the leaves look like during the summer:

Unedited photo by Bob Gutowski ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arisaema_dracontium#/media/File:Arisaemadracontium.jpg) CC BY 2.0

There’s a lot of tension, chaos, and pain in our world right now. It’s important to not forget why it’s all worth struggling for. There is beauty all around us, but we have to slow down and contemplate it, to relish in its own sheer lavish existence.

Make time today for a walk, for a sit, to pick up a seed or watch the birds. Your soul needs it.

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