January oddities


Let us bid a fond farewell to January. With its low-angled light and unpredictable conditions, it’s always the best time of year for spotting oddities. Icicles, for example, can grow feet from walking on the water.

three eyes

The beech trees keep a weather eye out in all directions.


A pine tree ten years dead is greening up.

snow angel

Goldenrod seed heads make snow angels of a sort.

porcupine teethmarks

Porcupines wander the mountain, sampling many kinds of trees and turning them all the same pale yellow.

red maple burl

Without leaves on the trees, previously unnoticed burls stand out.

the big birch 3

The burl on the big black birch tree beside the road wears a grumpy expression befitting the recently deceased.

black cherry burl 1

A black cherry burl oozes sap, which hardens into a faux amber in a cold snap.


On sunny days, dead weeds and grass perform an abstract kind of shadow theater,


with wind as well as the sun moving the props.


The old outhouse (as noted) appears to be heeding the call of nature.


It’s a twisted season.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Adios, January! What a great set of photos, Dave. I enjoyed them very much.


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