The Poisonous Path

I went into the woods this evening

to try to locate a lovely bracket fungi that I had photographed previously.

I needed to look up to find it,

but one must always look down while walking in the woods.

This is how I found the path…

IMG_4758

of white mushrooms.

IMG_4757

Yes, they are poisonous Amanitas.  They are lovely but deadly.

IMG_4743

Fear not. I was following their path, not eating them.

IMG_4748

A circle of these is called a fairy ring, so I thought of this as a fairy path.

IMG_4740

If YOU found a fairy path in the woods wouldn’t YOU follow it?

IMG_4742

Every ten feet or so was another cluster of lovely, glowing, white mushrooms.

It went on and on until I had to pause in awe.

There before my very eyes was the Mother of all mushrooms.

IMG_4729

It was big enough to wear as a hat.

IMG_4727

It was a magical adventure. I am so lucky.

IMG_4733

The FLOWER follows a poisonous path through the woods and survives to tell the tale.

What can we learn from Fungi?

There is devastation in Texas, Mexico, Florida and many of the Islands below Florida.

Once all the power and water are back on, there is a big souvenir pile left.

Debris. Non-biodegradable. Non-reusable. Trash.

Soggy sheet rock, insulation, plastics, moldy furniture, ruined appliances and cars…

Dig a hole? Throw it in it?  Have you forgotten the water table below?

Nature experiences its own devastation.

Who cleans up?

Fungi.

IMG_4652

They break down the dead trees and leaves and return the nutrients to the soil.

IMG_4651

This isn’t the end of the story.

IMG_4631

Things eat the mushrooms. They are food for the living, while living off of the dead.

IMG_4636

That’s called a cycle. The circle of life.

IMG_4625

Until we humans figure out we are all part of this same web,

IMG_4658

we may end up in one of these holes we keep digging.

IMG_4640

FLOWER

Finding the Falls

Across the lake, past the island, under the bridge,

IMG_4187

around the bend, through the farm pond

20170904_115748

left of the rushes and mallows,

20170904_120008

up the creek, under the hornet’s nest

20170904_122103

through the floating fungi,

20170904_122031

 

20170904_122754

over the sand bar, down by the liverworts

20170904_130025

toward the sound of running water, up to the rocks

20170904_124822

there is a lovely little water fall.

20170904_124957

FLOW

 

An Evening Walk in the Woods

I took a walk down our road this evening.

I wanted to photograph two of our wildflowers.

IMG_4288
Jewelweed/ Impatiens capensis/Touch me nots

The orange Jewel weed was being molested by a group of hummingbirds.

IMG_4290

They were zipping through the patch, shaking the plants and making all kinds of racket.

IMG_4289

Periodically one would sit and rest on the nearby Pokeberry weed.

IMG_4296

I also wanted to get some pictures of hearts-a-bustin’.

IMG_4282
Hearts-a-bustin/ Euonymus americanus

I cut across my neighbors’ property on the way home.

I found even more fungi.

IMG_4315
Red -belted polypore/ bracket fungi

This snail is having this knocked-over-one for supper.

IMG_4304I gave it back after the photo.

IMG_4309
Amanita ? Poisonous ? Never eat tall white.

IMG_4311

‘Tis the season!

IMG_4301
Snail on a mushroom on a tree. Food chain!

Snails love their ‘shrooms!

Wild FLOWER

Up River

If you want to go where it’s cool and quiet, go up river.

IMG_4011

As you travel, you feel you are leaving everything behind.

Floating between the water and sky with the wind in your hair,

Quietly cruising past the lazy life along the river.

IMG_4031

The air gets cooler as the water gets colder.

It’s time to soak in some sunshine.

IMG_3995

Sit on the shore.

Maybe hang out with Huck Finn

IMG_4054

or lay low with only a couch and a cooler.

IMG_4051

The only sounds are quiet sounds up river.

The wind passing through the grasses,

IMG_4052

and the water lapping the shore,

IMG_4021

or the an eagle flapping its wings.

IMG_4039

the splash of a fish or the plop of a turtle leaving its log.

IMG_4026

Life is slow up river.

We know when we turn around,

that we will yearn for this peace.

IMG_4036

But the wind blows us and the current takes us back to our lives.

Waiting for us to get busy again.

FLOW

 

 

 

Go Find Some Fungi

When the ground is too soggy to dig in,

IMG_3840
Witches’ butter

I put on my rubber shoes and go mushroom hunting.

IMG_3793
Ringless Honey mushrooms

I do not eat what I find.

IMG_3785
Splash Cup

I like my liver too much to risk eating a poisonous fungus.

IMG_3816
Turkey tail polypore

This snail is enjoying a snack.

IMG_3893

I only know common names of some of these.  Please forgive my ignorance.

IMG_3820
Violet toothed polypore

I have always been fascinated by fungi.

IMG_3803

Maybe I should start another blog called fungialley.

IMG_3811
Russula

I consider fungi both beautiful and beneficial.

IMG_3801
Clitocybe? (some are poisonous others edible)

IMG_3832

I took all these photos this past weekend in my yard and in the woods behind my house.

IMG_3847

I did go out in a kayak and found some floating fungi.  That will be another post.

IMG_3851

If a reader knows the true identifications of any of these, please send me a message.

IMG_3885

FLOWER loves fungi.

No Sedum? You Need’um.

In September most flowers are drying up and needing dead-heading.

IMG_3964

Not the sedums. They have been slowly stretching out their clusters of green buds.

IMG_3861

As the tiny flowers open the entire head blushes with color.

IMG_3916

You don’t need to look to know if they are blooming, you can HEAR it.

IMG_3926

Each colorful head is full of all kinds of bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, butterflies, moths and lightening bugs.

IMG_3924

It’s like a party on every plant.

FLOWER

 

 

Two Tiny Jugs

Two tiny jugs made of mud, side-by-side on a Magnolia grandiflora leaf.

IMG_3812

Were they made by fairy potter?

Do they contain tiny scrolls from an ancient fairy kingdom?

No.  They are made by a remarkable wasp, a Potter wasp/Eumenes species.

Mama Potter carries the mud in her mouth

and shapes the jug with her mouth parts and long skinny abdomen.

She leaves to top open to deposit a paralyzed caterpillar and an egg.  Then seals it shut.

Her baby wasp nestles inside its jug and eat its snack.

When it is big enough, it eats a hole in the side of its jug and emerges.

IMG_3879

What a good mama!

FLOWER