Storytime 46

clover growing within discarded glass bottle
Today’s image comes from a few years back, on the trail leading towards one of my old photographic haunts. Like most of the US, trash can often be found anywhere, but especially so alongside roads, because the overbearing inconvenience of waiting until a garbage can is handy far outweighs any concern about environment, or appearance, or responsibility, and so on – advanced species my ass. But on a steep slope of the trail I found this little terrarium, a reflection of how life can thrive if conditions are right.

First off, I’m almost positive this bottle was intact, and the soil had gotten in there through washing in down the slope during the rains; I suspect there remained a small air gap in the neck. Almost nothing else grew on the trail, partially because of the passage of feet, but more because of the lack of topsoil – what you’re seeing is the ubiquitous NC red clay – and the slope itself which formed significant runoff. But we’d also already had some cold weather that was knocking down the seasonal plants, of which the clover seen here counts, yet within its own little greenhouse, this patch remained unaffected. Contrast it with those seen just outside the mouth (which may or may not be the same species, dunno.)

I regret not doing regular checks throughout the winter to see how this little garden fared. While not too insulated from the temperatures that the surrounding soil would drop to during the winter months, at the same time there was the greenhouse effect that could keep the air within the bottle much warmer with adequate sunlight, which isn’t too hard in NC even during the winter; would the latter outweigh the former? Should I have pushed a few tropical plant seeds into the neck of the bottle? Ah, the thoughts that will vex me in my advanced decrepitude…