fading autumn

11.19.23 ~ Bolin Forest, Carrboro, North Carolina

On a chilly Sunday morning my friend Susan came over so we could take a very local wander in the woodlands. Susan has been living in this area many years so she led the way. Down the hill from us, on the edge of the neighborhood, is Bolin Creek, which runs through Bolin Forest. It might become a go-to place for Tim and me when we don’t want to have to drive somewhere for a nice walk.

crossing Bolin Creek
looking up Bolin Creek
beech leaves and shortleaf pine (?) bark
little holes in the bark might be resin pockets

A very unique bark characteristic separating shortleaf pine from loblolly, longleaf, and other southern pine species. These are resin pockets, also described by various references as “spherical pitch pockets,” “small spots of resin,” and “volcanoes.”
~ N.C. Cooperative Extension website

heavily shaded pine grove
eastern white pine (?)
marcescence with pine backdrop
leaf dam in Bolin Creek

Your thoughts don’t have words every day
They come a single time
Like signal esoteric sips
Of the communion Wine

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1476)

20 thoughts on “fading autumn”

    1. Thanks for the reference link, Eliza. I wonder if these short white pines are not doing well, surrounded as they are by other very tall trees, evergreen and deciduous. The article says they are intolerant or mid-tolerant of shade, which most of them were covered with.

  1. I love the reflections in the creek! And those pines would probably make great Christmas trees (at least they’re softer than many conifers). I’m glad you found this spot before winter sets in, Barbara.

    1. Thank you, Debbie, I loved the reflections, too. I’ve been told that ornaments tend to slip off white pine Christmas trees. In the past we’ve wound up with spruces but last year and this year we switched to Fraser firs.

  2. Very nice that you have found a friend to wander down to the creek with so close to home. I wondered if you felt like a kid again, Barbara?

    While I like the photo of the pine needles best, I found the photo of the resin holes very interesting.

    1. Actually, Susan and I got to be friends in sixth grade in Connecticut. We lost touch after high school but she found me again when she stumbled across my blog in 2014. And it turned out she was living here in North Carolina very close to my daughter. Small world.

      We found those resin holes fascinating, too. I learn so much from the daily Southern Piedmont Natural History Facebook posts.

  3. Looks quite inviting, and, yes, I think a nice go-to for you both! Love the back-lit leaf and those ponds of water. I know your great eye will find lots more eye-catching compositions here, Barbara!

    1. Thank you, Donna! Yesterday I found a local Audubon website describing good birding spots in this area. They say the best one is on a biological reserve and it requires registering your license plate online and driving across a ford over a creek to get there. Can’t wait to check it out. No dogs allowed and one has to check a water level gage before crossing to the parking lot.

  4. I’d never heard of resin pockets before- interesting! However, I do think the holes we saw, the ones in the photo, are made by a woodpecker. Woodpecker holes are made in lines. The resin pockets have raised edges, which the holes we saw don’t.

    1. No doubt you are correct, Susan. When I tried to do a little more research it looked like resin pockets are found deep inside the wood, not in the bark. Internet info can be so confusing and misleading! But some day I hope to find a woodpecker at work as low down on a tree as these holes were — imagine the photo op!

  5. So many leaves shots to love in here Barbara, from the header image to the leaf dam to the photo below that of the scattered leaves. All are inviting for a walk and I like the poem you have in this post by Emily Dickinson which is perfect for the post.

    1. Thank you, Linda. It’s nice to know we’ve got so many woodsy areas so close by, and then this one within walking distance. I’m looking forward to seeing it in all the seasons. (Probably not too often in the summer!)

      1. Yes and I’m sure there are others you’ll discover along the way. Summer maybe in the neighborhood only and early in the day. It’s woodsy, so may be okay for Summer. We have a tree-lined suite about 10 blocks away. I used to enjoy walking there on hot and humid days because the trees acted like a canopy to cool me.

  6. I would have called your pine tree photo a Christmas tree! I think it looks the part. 🙂
    Last night I spoke to my husband about possible public nature reserves we might investigate near to our home. We don’t have woodlands like yours, and with living near to a tourist attracting area, many places cost an arm and a leg to visit! He has some ideas though, so we will start investigating our local area when time permits.

    1. What kinds of trees do you use for Christmas in Australia? (If you use live ones.) This year we got a Fraser fir, we used to get spruce hybrids. I don’t see too many pines grown or sold for that purpose in this country. I hope you and your husband do find some nature reserves to explore! Even if it’s not a woodland, there are many kinds of natural environments to enjoy. I hope you’ll write about them some day. 🙂

      1. I will definitely write about what I find when we start exploring! I’m looking forward to it, but I doubt we will have time before January.
        In our area we rarely see live pines for sale. I have an artificial tree, which is stored in a box every year until December comes along. When I was a child, we were allowed to chop down a small pine to use for a Christmas tree, and oh, the pine fragrance was gorgeous in the house! 🙂 Times have changed though, and Australia has sooooo many rules now.:(

        1. There seem to be pros and cons to artificial trees but it’s great that you can use yours year after year. You can always get a fir or pine scented candle to burn to fill the air with fragrance. 🙂 I remember one year you posted pictures of your family by the pool on Christmas Day — so amazing for me to imagine what that’s like! Since they haven’t had a white Christmas down here since 1966 I bought a DVD of snow scenes to play for the holidays. 😉

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