I started down the path on the Colman Reservation wondering: what was I going to see today? This thought often occurs to me when I first start walking on a trail since my eyes need a destination to land on. My eyes flicked from one color to another almost instinctively while registering some of the scene but mostly brushing past it. What stuck out the most were the large oak trees softly swaying in the wind and the massive, gray rock that sees every wandering eye that passes by. These sights are not easily missed, but it takes a pair of keen eyes to look past and into the unseen background. On this day, my brain fired off the electrical signals that slowed down my eyes to look deeper. Almost instantly, an entire new world came into focus.
Small details that filled in the gaps of the never-ending photo helped to complete the picture. What had originally appeared to be a familiar scene soon took on a completely new form. The delicate crevices in the cracks of the tree bark presented
Moss and fungi growing on the bark of a tree.
an opportunity for resourceful organisms to prosper. The lens of my camera as well as my eye zoomed in on the newly found organisms. Green, furry arms of moss reached out to the sun smiling as they gratefully accepted the energy to create their food. The arms were no longer than one centimeter but vastly abundant up and down the tree creating a wave of green. Intermingled between the moss grew squishy, green mushrooms closely packed next to one another in order to maximize the limited amount of space on the tree. The two organisms danced and expanded together as they could feel spring just around the corner.
Moss covered side of the massive rock on the Colman Reservation.
One sight that stands the test of time is the massive, gray rock that rests on the Colman Reservation. You see it every time you visit, and yet there is always something new that you can learn from it. The countless years that it has existed lends itself to an immeasurable source of knowledge that exists in every dent and crack. Even with this amount of knowledge, we must look closer. My feet carried me past the side facing the trail and exposed the backside of the rock. The gray surface was masked by a wall of tightly packed green moss. This remarkable organism was in full display flexing its power to survive where nothing else could. Utilizing only tiny droplets of water, these mosses can grow in the most barren environments. Given this superpower, the mosses captured the water that snaked its way down the side of
Dark-colored fungi sprawling out on a tree.
the rock and produced its furry, green arms that extend towards the sky. The tiny roots of the moss captured the knowledge trapped in each crack of the rock. Content with the little amount that they have, the moss grows and grows without any complaints. I continued on with my walk having learned about the power of small organisms in this immense ecosystem. My challenge for you all is to slow down and look around, you might end up seeing something that you didn’t know was there!