Friday, September 30, 2022
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Armies of Planthoppers
I've been seeing hundreds of bugs flitting all over the lily pads as I float past in my kayak. They appeared to be little nits or flies that were moving too fast to be photographed and identifiable. Every time I approached a lily pad, they'd all scatter; that is, until I discovered that they'd scattered outwards onto my green kayak in droves. I was able to get close to a few next to me without alarming them.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
I came across this vegetated stump whilst out in a cove, and was curious to see that lily pads had been picked and were draped over the stump. I recall seeing completed muskrat winter larders for the first time last year, and wonder if this is one in the process of being stocked up?
The stems of these plants are incredibly tough and elastic-y, making them difficult to break off. It was quite a colorful scene to come upon on a dreary, overcast day that greets you with banks of cloud like this:
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Monday, September 26, 2022
These glowing orange mushrooms on a dead pine caught my eye in the dark woods. I think they're called Xeromphalina campanella. They have these delightful little dimples in their centers. The genus name Xeromphalina means little dry navel.
I couldn't believe it when I read that this glorious mushroom is described as gregarious, i.e. they grow in dense clusters, as you can see below
The type of gills on the underside of their caps are called 'decurrent' because they extend down the stem a little, beyond where they're attached. You can sort of see this in my pic below
Common names for this species are: golden trumpet and the bell Omphalina. Another thing I discovered when reading about them, is that they have a 'fuzzy foot' ... I hadn't noticed this in the field, but was happy to see it turn up in one of my pics (see close up below).
It's widespread throughout the U.S.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
I've been squeezing in as many last-minute aquatic surveys as I can before the growing season is over, the weather (and water) turns too cold, and the lake level gets lowered too much to make kayaking feasible. Today was no exception - I started off with an exploratory paddle of a lily pad-covered cove that necessitated wading through sinking, stinky muck to get our kayaks launched and floating. Exquisite, isn't it though? Definitely worth getting mud into my wellies for!
Surveying at this time of year means I get cold quickly, because I'm constantly putting my hands into the water to reach for interesting things, and then the cold wind dries them off. And when your feet have got wet too, it starts to seep in after a while.
This time I got home with all my 'gear,' dried off, warmed up, and changed, only to have the desire to go back out again after lunch, this time staying out till 6:30 p.m. to harvest each and every possible naiad I could reach with my butterfly net. It's compelling!
I came home jubilant - 38 naiads removed on a day that seemed dismal and dreary, but the naiad signature is so distinct and blatant right now, that good light wasn't even needed.
Oh, and now I know exactly why I've been getting headaches - I'm calling it surveyor's neck: from holding my head taut and erect as I scour the water for hours on end. Or is it kayaker's crick? Knowing the cause really helps endure the discomfort 😀!
Hope I can get that mud out of my socks!
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Friday, September 23, 2022
Thursday, September 22, 2022
I have a lot (no, a ton) of mushrooms coming up all over the yard, and some emanate aromas of old musty socks as I walk past. Most look familiar, and I thought this might be turkey tail until I stopped and checked - turkey tail is a shelf, or bracket, fungus growing along the trunks of trees and woody debris. This one was growing in the soil, which gave me pause. It sports eye-catching concentric rings. I asked for confirmation help in a mushroom ID group but haven't yet got a response.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Thrilled by an Aster
I am absolutely thrilled with the New England aster I bought from the Doyle Family Farm in West Newfield, Maine last year. What magnificence! Look at how well its doing:
So many beautifully formed buds! Exquisite!
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Look at how lovely this flat-leaved bladderwort (Utricularia intermedia) is in its natural habitat, floating in the currents, glowing in the sunlight beneath the water lilies. This plant has bladders on a separate stem, which is not visible in these photos.
Monday, September 19, 2022
Spot the Turtle
This delightfully colored Painted Turtle allowed me to get surprisingly close as it sunned itself in the late afternoon light - can you see it camouflaged amidst the early fall colors?
I stopped paddling, and let myself drift with the current, which took me so close to the beautiful creature, that I dared not make any adjustments. My own shadow got in the way of the photo, and all I could do was crouch slowly and duck down to get this next photo. They usually startle and escape into the water at the slightest hint of a disturbance, so I count myself lucky to have got this close (though I am snarling about my shadow!).
Sunday, September 18, 2022
Pillars of the Earth
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Friday, September 16, 2022
This phenomenally teeny tick is the nymph stage of a deer tick - it's about the size of a poppy seed: 1-1.5 millimeters, which is 0.06 of an inch! Here it is, magnified and zoomed in for your viewing pleasure!
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Our friends dropped off an enormous zucchini that had been growing undetected amidst all the other vegetables in their garden.
It weighed 9.4lbs! Here I am, cradling my new baby.
I've made a start on using it, but still have a substantial portion left. I sliced and braised it, then added cheese, which obviously (and intentionally) melted. Quite yummy. The skin seemed tougher than regular-sized zucchinis, a little closer to eggplant than I'd have expected. The seeds were larger and tougher, too. I scooped them out as one would with butternut or acorn squash.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
I found this beautiful, snowflake-y fungus growing on a damp part of our boardwalk whilst I was hanging my laundry. The only info I could get on this was that it is mycelium, from which mushrooms grow and fruit. Without the fruiting body, it's not possible to tell which it is. Well, I admired its structure and beauty anyway!
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Webs of Delight
Monday, September 12, 2022
I only just noticed these eye-catching mushrooms beside my car in a parking area at one of our community beaches. I was passing the time as I waited to meet a friend, and thought I'd pick up the small bits of litter lying here and there beside the car - bottle caps, plastic tops, and tear-off strips to while away the time. I was rewarded by this fantastic display as I started focusing on the ground:
Sunday, September 11, 2022
A perfect sensitive fern leaf outlined by droplets after a perfect storm
Stop and count the raindrops!