Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Last Day of October Dog Ramble- Edwin Warner Park

Even in the smallest and most familiar of landscapes we can find marvelous things on any given day.

I took the dogs out yesterday for a short ramble around the edges of the Model Airplane field at Edwin Warner Park.

These old fields are bordered by hedges of bush honeysuckle and privet. And this day ,they sheltered a dozen or so White-Throated Sparrows, newly arrived from the North Country. We will hear their song from now till April. "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody", they sing. Or at least that is what country people say. The sparrows scratch away leaves on the ground. They make their living there, which is why they must flee the snows. And soon ,the privets and the honeysuckle berries will feed the legions of refugee robins who winter here. Yet yesterday, I saw not one-

There are places in these fields not so hospitable. Not even to grass. Limestone is at the surface here and forms patches of barrens. In winter, miniature succulents and sedums grow on the outcroppings. In summer, nothing does since they are arid. Sometimes cedar glades grow in the deeper soil around the barrens. They are unique to Middle Tennessee and many have unusual wildflowers.

And here is an Osage Orange. Solitary in the field beside the baseball diamond. It grows naturally in the Southwest, an area once known as the Comancheria. It has spread here. Farmers planted it for hedgerows since when it is pruned it is thick and thorny. Yet here it is a tree, multi-trunked, with its weird green fruit strewn on the ground around it. The wood is said to be good for making tool handles or bows, though I wonder if anyone bothers anymore- The fruits look like too much work for a deer or a squirrel.

But they do look Halloweenish. Green brains from Nature's Frankenstein workshop. Appropriate to the day.

For the point of this minor dog ramble- is that there is always something worth seeing. Worth learning about. If you know how to look.

1 comment:

Clementine Moonflower said...

Last week I took my kids for a walk and we found a bunch of Osage Oranges lying on the ground. We had a contest to see who could break the first one by throwing them at a tree. Nobody won. They're tough little buggers!