From the Southern, 64th Street Entrance, the Trail jumps right up to the top of the Dunes and follows the Ridge. I’d been wonderin’ about whether some species of tree were present in the Park, and one jumped out at me when i paused to look at somethin’ else, and then turned around. An old Hophornbeam grew on the side of the Dune. Once again, i was surprised at the age of some of these deceptively slim trees.
Mistletoe has settled in the crook of a contorted Maple branch. On another tree, we can see how a branch that had one side killed off, maybe through an insect infestation, or, perhaps, a lightning strike, had rotted out, lost it’s strength and bent over toward the ground. Much of it broke off, maybe in a windstorm. Just above the break, a bud sprouted and followed it’s instinct to grow upright. Once again, we can see damage and healing that take a long time to play out on a deceptively thin tree. There’s Great Age to this Forest, but you have to look closely to See It.
Red Lichen growing on a Holly Tree. Sometimes called “The Blood of the Innocents”, Red Lichen has been used in certain Rites to cure oneself of Lycanthropy.
One of the Prickly Pear Cacti layin’ low in the leaf litter for the winter. Look closely, there’s still a red fruit that someone can make a meal of. A remote section of the Trail had some of these tracks, with no accompanying human ones. Large Coyote or, maybe, Coywolf. They were fresh and a Coyote was filmed swimming ashore to the Beach below the Ridge just this mornin’.
Entering a section of Spanish Moss draped trees, all this talk of stunted trees, Lycanthropy, Spells, and free roaming Coyotes and Wolves seems not so far-fetched. There’s Magic in these Old Woods if you stand Quietly and Feel It.
Broad Bay begins to show itself through the Trees as the Trail winds closer to the junction with Osprey Trail.