Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Two New Inductions...

into the Sacred Sisterhood of Sacrosanct Cisterns. Don't ask me why I am apparently obsessed with them, I don't even know but have been neglecting to mention new memberships, found these two on another hike in the foothills a few months ago. I spoke to the farmer who maintains the land for the land-owner (also the person who built the enclosure for this one as I found out) and he is hoping to convince the land-owner to have enclosures built for all of the cisterns on the land. I'm not sure how I feel about enclosing all of them. I guess I understand if the intention is to use them all again some day or prevent falling/drowning hazards. Still, they are kind of pretty and almost naturalized to their surroundings when in a state of disrepair.

This one is about 3' X 6'. A few scant remains of it's former enclosure lie around it. It lays hidden in the woods about a hundred yards up the hill from a couple of the others mentioned previously.

This is the biggest one I've ever seen, roughly 5' X 9' and at least eight feet deep. I noticed that several unfortunate critters had fallen into it and drowned so, being careful not to touch them. I fished them out with a tree branch and buried them. Stuck a couple branches in at odd angles so that future clumsy critters would be able to climb back out. I also brought a few of my pond goldfish up on a subsequent hike and put them in there to help control mosquitos.

While I was busy mucking around with the big cistern, my dog disappeared for a few minutes and came back soaked from head to toe. I was curious where he found water deep enough to swim so I followed his tracks backwards to this beautiful woodland bog-pond just up the hill from the cistern. The place is very serene and unspoiled, I think it will be one of my favorite new places to take friends when we are out hiking or on a picnic.

"Maidenhair" Fern grows abundantly in biotopes like this: filtered sunlight, lots of sphagnum moss & still, acidic water with a very thick layer of settled organic matter just below the surface. This is one of those places where if you tread on the mossy areas, the entire ground ripples and one must be careful not to damage the plant life or fall through the moss layer.

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