Grasping at air – poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) aerial roots display bright colors as it climbs over 70 feet up a coast redwood. The poison oak trunk, as thick as my forearm, bore beautiful carvings, done by some unfortunate, uninformed graffiti artist. I shudder to think of the awful rash they must have received. Perhaps they will think twice about carving in a living being next time.
Pretty maids all in a row – there are over 140 known species of milkweed, which produce some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom. When a pollinator visits, often their legs are trapped by the spaces between the flower parts where a pair of pollen sacks wait to hook onto the insect’s leg. Upon struggling free, the insect carries its precious package to another flower. A complementary pair of leg-grabbing slots on another flower pulls the pollen sacks off and “hey presto”, flower sex! If you see some flowering, stop for a minute and watch the bugs get caught.
Cool, calm, and collected – Morning walks after the dew has fallen often reveal many small moments of beauty. When the sun is only a little way up, its slanted light sparkles through spiderwebs, dewdrops, and the delicate petals on flowers. It’s a daily source of soul refreshment.