Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Story of a Stump

*This article was originally posted at Pix-N-Pens, November 6, 2008. It is one of my fondest memories.

The Shot That Almost Was, Tufted Titmouse

A number of years ago, I wanted a certain species of tree to plant in my yard, so my husband went and found one. We picked the perfect spot, just outside my living room window, and planted it. Over time, this tree grew and grew until became apparent it was NOT the tree we thought it was. It was in fact another very invasive tree, with seed pods that sprouted after every rainfall, and I was nonplussed. Then along came the hurricanes of 2004. During 2004, we found ourselves in the path of three substantial hurricanes: Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne. Well, this tree didn't make it through all that wind, but fell (fortunately not on my house) so we cut down the tree and left the stump.

Now where am I going with this story? It's amazing to me the little things that affect your life. That stump became one of mine. It began when I decided to put a pan of bird seed on the stump. After all, it seemed like a good platform. I cannot begin to tell you the species of birds I have seen come to that feeder. Most prized were the painted buntings.

Female Painted Bunting

I spent many enjoyable hours in my favorite armchair, gazing out the window, snapping photos of all that flew in. Cardinals, blue jays, chipping sparrows, woodpeckers, collared and white-winged doves, all of these came. The stump became a very popular spot.

And it was not just birds; there were insects, spiders, frogs, and toads. Apparently, the metal pan in which I placed the bird seed each day, created underneath a nice, dark, cool spot to hide.

Oak Toad, Bufo terrestris

Soon I noticed some signs of decay there, a little wood rot and a few mushrooms.

Melting Point, Mushrooms

Odd and Unusual

I guess all good things must come to an end. I am moving from this house to another and leaving the remains of my stump to the creatures that inhabit the yard. I'm sure I'll find me another wonderful spot at the new place to watch what comes and goes, and I'm excited about that. But somehow I know it is this stump which I will remember fondly the most.

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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