Weekly photo challenge: Renewal 1

This week’s photo challenge theme is “renewal.” It’s a hard theme in autumn when Nature is preparing for her winter’s sleep. She did leave some reminders of spring — that great time of renewal.  Today, vibrant violets dotted the shaley, leaf-strewn slopes.

ULTRAVIOLET — Normally a signature of spring, violet blooms popped into fullness near the middle of November.
OUT OF TIME — Wild violet blooms out of time.

Far more interesting takes on the theme can be found here:

And of course, the BIG photo challenge page:

2012 fall colors in the Ouachitas

What a beautiful autumn here in Arkansas’ Ouachita Mountains. We’ll let the forest speak for itself.

Weekly photo challenge: Silhouette II

Lots of sun-made silhouettes in this week’s challenge, including our first entry. Let’s give the moon its due.

NIGHTTIME SILHOUETTE —  May 5 “Super Moon” backlights these leaves and branches.

Other silhouettes from this week’s challenge:

Secret lives of vascular plants

The sun has returned to the Ouachitas, along with highs in the 80s.  A perfect day to get into the garden for spring cleaning the dried stalks left from last year, as well as transplanting lavender, a volunteer sunflower and adding more soil and mulch to existing beds.

Among the discoveries today was a split open poke sallet stem, dried and bleached through last fall and winter, with its spongy interior mostly gone, but its ribs were left.

A short walk later was  a beautifully gnarled, mossed and lichen-ed underside of a tree, which, last year, had been a useful perch for an eager chipmunk.

On the deck, a grapevine waited on the deck for some ground to call its own.  The setting sun made the veining in its leaves stand out.

Poke sallet ribs
What's left of the spongy interior of a poke sallet "trunk."
More poke sall;et
Another view of the same trunk near the tapered end.
Niagara grape
Niagara grape, its veins backlit, awaits transplantation.
Underside of a tre
The foundation of this long-ago uprooted tree has grown its own peaks and valleys landscape.
Another view of the underside of a tree.
Another view of the rich life that has sprung from the death of a tree.