A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Helyar Forest

I went to Rutgers Gardens today hoping to get some foliage pictures. I visited a part of the gardens I had never been in, Helyar Forest.

According to the brochure, "These woods contain sections of old growth and succession forest and remain a unique and valuable ecological resource. Oak, hickory and beech are prevalent." I thought this would be an excellent place for foliage viewing.

It's been too many years since I've taken a walk in the woods in the fall. I had forgotten the soft whisper of the leaves and that special fragrance of autumn. As lovely as the fall colors were, I found myself most attracted to the trees themselves. Now that the foliage has thinned out, you can see their special shapes. I wondered how they got that way.

A natural archway over the path that was formed when a tree toppled.

Spiralling ever upwards.

Trees hug trees too!
This one made me feel so sad. It wasn't until I downloaded it to my computer that I realized it was because it reminded me of the "Pieta".

Other things caught my eye and my camera as I strolled along.

I saw this collection of stones. There was no indication how they got there or why they were there.

There were ferns enjoying the unusually mild weather.

I think natural clearings are very mysterious. You are walking along and all of a sudden, everything opens up. I always wonder, why is nothing growing there? With no trees there, there should at least be underbrush. The forest has a secret life all its own.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

I loved this grove of trees. I'm sure they were labelled but somehow I felt that if I knew what they were it would rob them of their magic.

I didn't have a tour map to guide me along the trail. It wouldn't have been much help. As you can see from the pictures, everything was covered with leaves. The "trail" was virtually invisible. I lost it several times but I was never worried about getting lost. This serene untamed wilderness is located just off of Rte 1.

Yes, that Route 1. The one that runs up the East Coast from Florida to Maine.


At 11:49 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Always great to be walking through the forest. I love the pictures you've taken of these trees and the autumn colours. Well-done.

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Judith said...

Beautiful forest photos! What a great walk you had. I like "Trees hug trees too!"--that's precious & very true!


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