Posts Tagged ‘Tree’

willow, early May, Falls, 2013

Falls of the Ohio State Park…early May.  Many of the willows along the river whose fibrous roots are holding fast are also in bloom.

black willow catkins, Falls of the Ohio, May 2013

The yellow flowers are  catkins and open before the long, thin leaves appear.  It’s warm and windy along the river.  Tomorrow it will be different.  American goldfinches are feeding on the willow blooms.

male American goldfinch and willow, May 2013

American goldfinch, male, May 2013

goldfinch on willow, May 2013

goldfinch willow 4.5_1_1

American goldfinch on willow, May 2013

The sound of rolling river waves against Indiana are interrupted every now and then with goldfinch song.  The males are becoming more and more yellow.  Does the pollen of the black willow also help this bird?

black willow catkins, May 2013

For me, it’s blooming willow on Oak’s Day.  The derby is tomorrow.  I’ve a lot of river to explore for a few hours more.  Who knows what else I might find?

wet willows at the Falls of the Ohio, May 2, 2013

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In my hands was the head of a small Styrofoam figure I made at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  I found all the parts while walking along the northern shore of the river.  The eyes are fishing bobbers and the nose is the plastic cone from a moderate-sized bottle rocket.  I can’t remember what I used to make the purple lips!  I was on my way to see one of my favorite trees and wondered how it was doing after this year’s flooding?

The great tree with its amazing roots had survived in fine shape.  Approaching I could see that recent visitors had added new amenities to enhance the natural room existing under the trunk of this tree.  Long a go the river washed away the river bank, but the tree’s roots held fast and kept growing.  Here’s a side view.

I ran into Steve the Arrowhead Man earlier in the week and he told me that teenagers had discovered this tree and turned it into a party hangout.  Nailed to the tree was a hand-drawn sign that read “Mahalo”.  Driftwood had been collected and neatly stacked near an improvised kitchen area that had counter space, a stone-lined fire pit, and a plastic trash bag to carry garbage out.

I like the counter-top plank that also helps frame this view out the window.  The skyline of Louisville can be seen on the farthest shore.

Sitting in the Mahalo Tree was more about fantasy than reality.  The fire pit was located too close to the tree!  Still I admired the sense of play and creativity and decided to leave the figure I was making now named “Mahalo Man” as a present for the next visitor to the tree house.  I finished my figure with materials I found around the tree.  Here’s a portrait of my latest creation.

First, I moved Mahalo Man by the sign nailed into the tree…but I didn’t like it.  So, I reached into the old collecting bag and pulled out a plastic bunny rabbit I had found on the walk out here.  The rabbit had a coin slot in the back of its head.  I finally left Mahalo Man under the earth and rootlets beneath this great tree.  Here is another view of this figure with his rabbit companion.


The rabbit figure lent a certain Alice in Wonderland quality to the ambiance surrounding the Mahalo Tree.  I hope to check back here sometime during the summer and see what other changes have been made by man and nature.  I  will close with a final rabbit picture next to the hole in the bank our friend now calls home.

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