Today the woods were somewhat dark and very windy, as always. We were under a tornado watch but the weather mostly spared me while I was out. I took many pictures of the woods looking dark, and of all the new mushrooms that have sprung up recently, and plants that have been afflicted by this or that malady. It can’t all be sunshine and wildflowers, I guess.
1. At the bottom of the ravine, the kids' old fort. Makes it look all mysterious, huh.
It’s not really that mysterious. Oh sure, there were those cult murders a few years back, and Old Man McGillicuddy who lives in that shack and who some folk say is crazy, and the odd cold spots you pass through that may or may not be angry specters, but other than that, the woods aren’t so mysterious.
2. This time of year, the woods are, above all, an overwhelming sea of green. Wait...
3. This is the bottom of the same grape vine pictured above. Right here is about where things start going crazy and the orange waxy bloom starts.
4. Some Googling suggests that the unusual appearance of this old grape vine is due to a fungus that goes by the common name of "deer vomit." (Fusarium merismoides)
5. Your more run-of-the-mill fungus.
6. There's still plenty of grey and brown amidst the forest floor, so these little babies really popped out.
7. There was also this very small, criminally adorable mushroom hanging out on the edges of this crevice. Note the weird little white growths inside the crevice.
8. A snail that was actually feeling bold enough to poke its head out
9. Mushrooms from the same log, as well as some moss sporophytes
10. And then there's this guy, who may be one recently separated half of a pair of conjoined mushrooms.
11. I have a weird feeling a mutant squirrel (six eyes, fangs) lives in here.
12. Virginia waterleaf flowers. All the plants I passed seemed to have this one little flower bespeckled with this orangish brown stuff.
13. I took this picture standing in the dry creek bed near this big tangle of barbed wire that completely ineffectually blocks three whole feet of the divide between ours and our neighbor's land. All the shadows are where the creek monster lives. The little dried leaves hanging from the fence are his idea of curtains?
14. Also taken looking up from the dry creek.
15. A virus-stricken nettle, I think. Nature's patchwork quilt, mayhap?
16. A jack-in-the-pulpit with rust.
17. Somehow I never noticed this tree -- I think it might be a black walnut, didn't look closely -- with a huge split up the length of its trunk.
18. You can see just how big it is. Healed nicely, I guess. Only all its branches appear dead. Maybe it didn't heal so nicely.