Monday, August 6, 2012

After the Rain

It rained last night. A lot. And when it rains a lot around here during the heat of summer, I like to head to the woods. That isn't hard to do, seeing that we live at the edge of acres and acres of wooded land, some privately owned and some not, a little of it ours and a lot of it not. I can walk out my door, to the end of our driveway, then up the road to the woods. It takes less than five minutes. When I step off the road and head into the woods I'm on a treasure hunt, camera in hand. Here's what I found this morning.

Mushrooms! In the spring, lots of folks around here hunt for morels, a real delicacy. I don't eat wild mushrooms. I'm not crazy enough about them to risk eating the wrong ones and getting deathly sick, but I love to hunt for any and all kinds with my camera. August seems to be a good month for mushrooms...when we get a lot of rain, that is. Sometimes I find them in clusters, like the ones above. Some are loners, like these:

Some are so tiny, but they're bold!

 And some blend in with the leaves so well that I almost miss them.

From past years, I know that this mushroom will change its shape as it grows.

Looks like this one had a little trouble clearing the way through the leaves and twigs.

This one kept its stem straight, but is still hanging on to some forest floor leftovers.

This is not a mushroom. It's some kind of lichen, I suppose, all lined up and arranged just so on top of  a rotting log.

Another rotting log was host to a whole flock of tiny brown mushrooms.

These bright beauties were hiding in the grass that grows in the middle of the access road.

This one, although it is beginning to fade, held a few drops of rainwater.

I nearly stepped on this unusual thing.

It looked like a giant white rose, with a hint of beige. Quite a find, I think!

And then there was this little fireball, growing right up out of the gravel near the entrance of the access road, not quite as big as the end of my thumb.

Alas, this one looks like it's crying.

Along the way, I discovered this little fella. I often see them after a rain. I'm not into creepy crawly things, but I don't mind handling these. They're not the least bit slimy, and their toes are so tiny and delicate. Since this guy posed so perfectly for me I left him alone to continue his journey.

I suppose I should attempt to identify all these pretty surprises, but that will have to wait for lazier days. Right now, I'm just glad to get a chance to head to the woods after a rain. I can't wait to see what sweet little jewels are waiting for me there.

1 comment:

  1. These photos are stunning---the colors and textures are so dramatic. I don't know any of the mushrooms, but I can name the amphibian: Red spotted newt in its juvenile ("eft") stage. ~Laura Greenleaf


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