Ah, the blue leaves of Autumn!
Yellow Pond Trail, Big Bar Lake
The powdery mildew taking over these stalks, could be called an instance of disease, but since it’s species specific it’s more of a sorting by season, moisture and the crowding that comes from a young tree growing over the years. The species thriving in its maturing shade, pine grass, wild gooseberry, bear berry don’t mind the increasing shade, and so are present, providing a seed source for when a nearby tree falls, a clearing opens, a new tree sprouts and birds can plant a new colony around it, or a bear can plant a new colony, and the others will follow. The mildew is a sign of the humidity here, which is created by the same plants that suffer from it, yet provides the environment for lilies to survive here out in what would otherwise be the open grass. Next year, the mix will be different. What the Earth is teaching us is that one year is not a story. This community exists over a span of many springs and many summers. A tree that sprouts in a wet summer, a year in which the trees march into the grass, holds that damp across many dry years in this way.