No, not the Canadian railway, nor the Asian road route, nor the Ankh-Morpork telegraph system (which I recently finished reading about). This particular grand trunk is growing in our front yard and belongs to a large, old maple tree. The trunk is covered in deeply ridged bark, which is in turn covered with colourful lichens, which in turn hosts many interesting critters.
I was out raking leaves yesterday, since the weather was quite mild; a relatively balmy 16 C (61 F). I set aside the rake before the sore spots on my thumbs got a chance to turn into blisters, but reluctant to go in just yet, I played ball with Raven for a little bit. In between tosses, while she was hunting for the ball in the long grass of the meadow, I examined the trunk of the tree. It initially caught my interest when I noticed some of the tiny little Bark Mycena that I had first observed on the maples of my parents’ old house, when my blog was still just a month-old fledgling.
I grabbed my camera and documented all the organisms I found on the trunk, between the ground and eye-level, yesterday afternoon. For the purposes of relating scale, all of these photos are taken at the same magnification and are the original out-of-the-camera image; I have not cropped any of them (although I did lighten a few since it was overcast and some of the photos were a little dark). Most people know how big an average pillbug (or maybe a sowbug; I forgot to check for tails) is – the size of the frame for the photos below is the same as for this one, to give you an idea of relative size. The only exceptions to this are the final three, which were too big to fit into the frame when fully zoomed-in.
The next three are at a different scale from the above, as they were too large to fit into the frame comfortably (or at all). They were also on the next tree over, so not strictly the same group, but I couldn’t resist including them as well.