Last night, somehow, the conversation with Renee and McKinley turned to talking with trees. McKinley was disbelieving that communication with trees was possible, and Renee said, "No, they don’t talk with words, they just flash it into your mind." This delighted and astounded me.
Today we measured the circumference of some of the trees behind our house. We set up a little graph and put down the species, if we knew it, or our best guess if we didn’t, along with the circumference of the trunk, and a name that we came up with for each tree. The largest was a Northern Red Oak, which Renee immediately identified, though I was having a hard time finding the leaves they were so high up and mingled with other leaves. It measured 128.5 inches around. Because it stands above our home, like a guardian, we named it Grandfather Oak. Also of note were the two deciduous magnolias. I wasn’t sure what the name of the species was, just that they were deciduous. McKinley named the first one "Bigleaf." Turns out there actually is a Bigleaf Magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla, though I think that this particular tree is the magnolia species more prevalent in the Appalachians known locally as Cucumbertree–Magnolia fraseri.
McKinley also spotted some marvelous mushrooms, so I ran down to the house and got Peterson’s Guide to Mushrooms, and found a match: old man of the woods. Then we found another cluster of them, and began seeing mushrooms everywhere. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to draw some of these Old Men tomorrow, as well as collect more data on our trees. We’ve only got so much time for green leaves, and I want to do some leaf rubbings, especially of the Cucumbertree–the leaves are extravagantly large. (Next Spring I simply MUST paint one of these trees in bloom.)
OK. That’s all for now.