We explored where less people go, taking time to not tread too heavily on plant-life as we hiked off the beaten path. We very much enjoy the company of others in the woods, and there is also something magical about being just the few of us, hiking at our leisure, the kids focused on each others reactions to what they see, although it is mostly Milo following Amaya's every foot step and sound. They each quickly found the perfect walking stick. Seeing all the fallen branches felt like an invitation from the trees for every person of every size, the perfect stick waiting for everyone with no discrimination; tall, short, wide, thin, crooked, straight, pitchfork, crutch, pole vault, ore. "Come meander within us, we'll help guide you" seems to rustle off their leaves. Makes me think, if trees could talk, would they have enough to say about us? We're trying to make it so.
A few hours of wandering and the snacks mostly digested, we headed home to start shaving the bark off the walking sticks. Although our next assignment to find a specimen was not planned until the next day, we unknowingly got a head start and were able to study the tiny little creature Amaya found under the bark. Leaving trails and shavings of worn pathways through the under-layer this small borer left impressions in the wood that we'll keep. Was this flathead borer the reason this particular stick found its way to the ground below? Carving its way under the bark destroying the phloem, cambium, and outer xylem. The tiny little being can destroy a young tree by itself and I wonder now if the tree it came from was still standing then, still alive. We didn't know to look, but next time we'll have the awareness to take notice.
Wild Explorers Club
Flathead Borer Larvae