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Here’s how it looks

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to reason with the bucks

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about eating from a garden.

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Native to Europe, snowdrops (Galanthus) suddenly appear on the loamy banks of Little Crum Creek.

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But how?

Perhaps, years ago, someone tossed the hearty bulbs over a fence. Maybe a neighboring garden washed downstream.  I have even read that ants can carry the seeds.

Certainly no one has gardened this ground for 25 years. 

Yet here are the snowdrops, not only free of cultivation or protection but perennially flourishing on their own each February and March.

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These early bloomers battle ivy and debris to beat the soon-smothering lesser celandine and towering knotweed. 

They even penetrate lingering snow to reach sunlight. 

Fortunately, in the process, deer find them distasteful.

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Undisturbed, these crowded clumps of determined scapes, cradling tightly furled flowers in protective spathes, reach just inches above the leafy litter before each bundle of tepals pops free to bloom in pendulous florescence, one by one.

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No doubt these impressive little plants made their way here from the careful cultivation of a domestic garden.

But now they seem just fine on their own, according to their nature, and wherever they may go.

Though not native, they are “naturalized.”

What’s to keep them, finally, from being “wild”?

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For a brief moment after July’s flowers,  rubus phoenicolasius  fruit exploded over the land like some fleeting celestial event.  

But wineberry, related to blackberry and raspberry, is like any other plant:  firmly terrestrial.  Perhaps even doubly so.  Its arcing cane elegantly returns a furthest tip to the same ground, a few feet away from the earthen spot from which it sprung, rooting the beginning and end of itself in soil. 

 

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 Still, there seems to be something extra to this doubly terrestrial bramble.  Rooting both ends in dirt, the plant can nonetheless seem untethered to earth.  Its three ovately-pointed leaves per stem collectively point elsewhere. Its perfectly elegant arc bristles with a combustible color complementing riotous-like redhaired clusters of stellar white flowers before exploding into fiery drupelets of fruit.  Each blossom and fruit, though fleeting, is frozen in photos like Hubble captures of dynamic deep space.

The plant’s groundedness does not contradict this impression.  Its rooting rather reminds us of something easily forgotten.  Looking to the ground, the fact astounds us:    Here we are out in the universe. 

 

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There is no mistaking the sound of a snake slithering over dry leaves.

The sound will find sight pretty quickly to prevent a tread on an often overlooked Eastern Garter.

Here, one slipped quickly beneath a web of linked fence lining lawn and wilderness.

The snake and I paused in appreciation.

It then removed to a pile of grass clippings and leaves at the base of a pine.

In time, satisfactorily sensing the situation with a peeping head and tongue, the snake proceeded to carry our sunny encounter over a shadowy earth.

The hill is well-suited for feeding on salamander and worm.

There’s a lot of sun above and water below.

I fully expect to see a garter’s return.
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