Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Disappointment at Mill Hollow Bacon Woods Park


January 19, 2020

We locals just call it Mill Hollow, but where I went with my new friend Rebecca two weeks ago is officially called Mill Hollow Bacon Woods Park. It was another toe-freezing day, and perhaps if I hadn’t felt physically uncomfortable, I’d have seen more. But as you’ll find out if you read the words below the last few photographs below, there was another reason to be disappointed.

1 Now this was fun—seeing evidence of three kinds of precipitation throughout our walk.

2 And this old dead tree kept both of us fascinated for quite some time.

3

4

5

6 Another dead tree made me think of Chinese scroll paintings of mountains and trees.

7 And I enjoyed seeing the verticality of the woods interrupted by twisting wild-grape vines.

8 But in a landscape colored mostly like this . . .

9 . . . it was a special treat to see rows and rows of large red hedges.

10 They were even along a temporary pond whose water I’m sure was colored by iron deposits precipitated by the iron bacteria.

11

12

13 Alas, as I found out later from my botanist husband, this beauty belongs to the rampantly invasive Japanese knotweed. Enjoyment cancelled.

14 responses

  1. In picture #5 the snow on the knob of the tree near the bottom is a nice touch.

    Starting with picture #9 I wondered what the reddish plant is, only to find out at the end that it’s an alien invasive. You’d warned at the beginning that a disappointment was coming but I didn’t have any intuition about what it would be.

    Like

    January 19, 2020 at 10:45 PM

    • Thanks, Steve. There was just enough snow that day to be decorative but not intimidating. Glad I kept you wondering about the big disappointment.

      Like

      January 23, 2020 at 8:35 PM

  2. Larry Porter

    Your photos evoked vivid memories of the past. A friend of ours who lived in a house on a hill in Northern Michigan explained that Japanese Knotweed sends out a main root that can extend for a hundred yards or so, and showed us one on her property that had been tracked for a hundred yards, with poison stations set up along it at regular intervals.
    Also, your wonderful arabesque of hanging grape vines reminded me of summer camp in Vermont, when I was 8 and 9, when we little kids would sometimes be able to actually swing on those wild grapevines, without tearing them down.

    Like

    January 20, 2020 at 7:00 AM

    • Yeah, I guess Japanese knotweed is pretty terrible over here. In Japan it has natural predators and apparently is not a problem. I love picturing you swinging on a grapevine, Larry.

      Like

      January 23, 2020 at 8:35 PM

  3. Porter, Laurence Marjorie

    I dunno. Beauty and ugliness aren’t always so easy to unravel!

    Like

    January 20, 2020 at 11:13 AM

    • True, Marjorie. I guess some things can be beautiful but still unwanted. Like some members of the human race, even.

      Like

      January 23, 2020 at 8:36 PM

  4. Clever. 🙂 When I saw the title I thought about being disappointed in what you saw, but as I scrolled through it was obvious that wasn’t the case. That tree is a great subject. I think I like #4 best of those. I wonder if that’s Gold dust lichen – Chrysothrix candelaris. We have similar “stuff” on tree bark here. Your photo of the Wild grapevine is beautiful – there is a kind of stillness and nobility to it. I like the bands in #10 and the cross-hatching in #12, and finally, the disappointment is revealed – Japanese knotweed, UGH! It’s a big problem in the NYC metro area. I have tried to pull it out – wow, very difficult. But it’s really a tough one, overrunning everything native in places where it takes hold. Too bad because it’s a visually interesting plant. The flowers can be pretty too. But in the end, you might as well make lemonade….

    Like

    January 21, 2020 at 11:45 AM

    • I’ll tell the truth, Lynn. I was disappointed in what I saw. I was hoping for so much more. My dissatisfaction kept me choosing and unchoosing the photos for this post. Maybe if we’d been able to find our way to the river, the disappointment would have been less. I don’t know what that green stuff is. I was thinking it was an alga, but I’ll bet you’re right—especially after Googling your Chrysothrix candelaris. Sure does look similar. I didn’t see it on many of the other trees there. Those bands of red were all over; I was so happy to see them. Now I know that Japanese knotweed grows in bands because it sends out runners. The photographs on this post are my lemonade; don’t know that I’ll make more of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 23, 2020 at 8:38 PM

      • How much does disappointment have to do with expectations? Anyway, it’s good that you still made some photographs and learned some things. I never thought about knotweed making bands of color because it has runners – makes sense. I remember a winter photograph I made at a park near where we used to live, of Red twig dogwood, a native shrub whose branches are gorgeous in winter. It’s used a lot as a landscaping plant and there are yellow versions, too – you’ve probably seen it. The growth habit is different from knotweed but the photo you took with the knotweed more in the background reminds me of seeing Red twig dogwood in thew woods in winter. 🙂

        Like

        February 5, 2020 at 9:04 PM

        • Yeah, you’re right about expectations and disappointment. I had been to that park many times but always where I could get down to the river. It’s also a place where I’ve seen Leptothrix discophora. I wasn’t expecting to see L. discophora, but having seen it there probably gave my memory of the place a bit of a golden glow. Well, I’d still like to go back in warmer weather. And yes, red-twig dogwood (called red-osier dogwood by my resident botanist) is gorgeous in winter, though I guess even it can get out of hand sometimes.

          Like

          February 6, 2020 at 4:41 PM

  5. It’s frustrating to me how pretty so many of the invasive species are – russian olive, salt cedar, and others. Beautiful photos.

    Like

    January 21, 2020 at 1:05 PM

    • Thank you, Donna. Frustrating is right. There are some invasives that don’t look pretty, though—kudzu and garlic mustard come to mind. Buckthorn is another. Many neighbors don’t want the buckthorn trees cut down, though, because they grow fast and provide needed shade. A lot of people just don’t get it about invasives. But even those who do are often at a loss for what to do about them.

      Like

      January 23, 2020 at 8:38 PM

  6. Lovely images, Linda – and I know EXACTLY what you mean about Chinese scroll paintings and image 6. Invasive species are certainly a problem, another way in which our species is contriving to mess up the planet.

    Like

    January 22, 2020 at 5:08 AM

    • Thanks, Adrian. I’m so glad you see the Chinese scroll painting in #6. And yes, messing up the planet seems to be what we do best.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 23, 2020 at 8:38 PM

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