I stopped half way around the back path, while talking to Uriah. He had seen a black squirrel. With high hopes his nose was to the ground and he wandered in circle. We never had a squirrels living in our backyard. Too many corn fields void of trees. As son as the line of trees from town grew upwards and out, the squirrels used them as stepping stones, and just last summer they finally reached us.
The black squirrel was startled when I walked on the path with out singing out. He leaped from the smaller mulberry trees into the tall grass and scurried up on one of the older bog willows – Uriah leaped into the grass with his tail wagging. Immediately he was pulled into the hunt.
From my stand point I could see it going nowhere. The furry squirrel was already thirty feet ahead of Uriah and holding onto a much stronger willow. He looked back at us, still not confident enough to chatter his anger in our direction. Instead he leaped again and again from tree to tree. I continued walking. Without a back ward glance I whistled for Uriah, surprisingly he followed.
When I stopped, I looked out and up to where the land leans upwards, facing away and towards the south. The grass had changed color with the last dip in temperature, so the colors were muted beige, browns, washed out green. Closer to the ground it was very dry beige. What got my attention was a plant that gave me the illusion of a wispy, swirl of green, bright spring green.
When I spotted the sweeping, feathered branches, of what I thought was one plant, was in fact, two growing side by side. The main stem had the look of an asparagus, soft light green; the large plant was three fingers thick. The smaller, its height was the comparable to the first and its stem was only one finger thick. Both grew on a single straight strong stem, side branches swirled downward like a weeping willow.
Using my ski pole I checked for holes and large spider webs. So each step took a lot longer than just and easy stride into the unknown, fraught with a possible jaunt to the ER.
The plant was growing nearly fifty feet from the path, after my initial surprise at its color, Easter grass green, I noticed the ends looked as though they had started re-growing, looking very feathery, in an evergreen pattern. I touched one of the branches, soft and delicate.
I couldn’t spot any other plants in the area like these two. I hadn’t noticed it this past summer. It more than likely blended into the landscape, so I don’t know if it had any other type of leaves or flowers. I could see that some of its branches were bare, with points were there should have been something. Similar to a fake flower when it drops off you’re left with a pointed, naked end.
I moved away searching for another like it, somewhere in the trees or out in the open fields I found nothing. Unique plants, like certain people, seem to come out in the open after every one else around them peters out.
I will have to make a note to watch out for this plant in the spring, I would love to find out if it is a wildflower, or a tree.