Week in the Woods (11 I 20)

Freezing temperatures gave way to an afternoon near 70 degrees on Saturday, ensuring that Cassie & I would find time to explore a few of our favorite trails. We had a good day hunting mushrooms & other interesting stuff!

I brought my macro lens into the woods again, something I just started doing but now feel I almost can’t do without. I’ve come to really enjoy it, and today got some fun shots of a few miniature beauties, such as these… I’m not sure whats. I’ll watch to see if they grow. Maybe they’re some sort of tooth fungus. I love their frilly lace hemline!

I was keen to check on the strange black fungus we found growing out of the moss a week ago. I was hopeful that a bit of time would lead to growth and a chance at identification.

No such luck, but my macro lens did allow me to shoot them much closer. I checked along the length of several logs in the area but can only find them growing on a six foot stretch of one mossy log. It’s a great log, too, as I’ve found many interesting species growing on it over the last half year or so.

As I said, there were lots of funky fungi in the woods today. Our hike was short, but we kept our eyes out in all the likely places. It truly is amazing how the same area can surprise you time and again.

Some impressive remains of stump puffballs caught our attention in spots we must have walked by dozens of times. With all the leaves gone from the brush, they were a lot easier to spot.

And as the forest has grown more drab, the vibrant color of the lichens has become more apparent and drawn more of my attention. This stump was nearly engulfed by young lichens.

Speaking of lichens, I found another patch of pixie cups. This third batch I found near the second. I think I’m getting better at identifying promising spots. I have quickly grown so fond of these little weirdos that I’ve drawn them. Twice! They’re really adorable, and so tiny that the macro lens is pretty much required if you plan to photograph them.

Here we found the remains of a woodpecker. Breakfast for a fox?

A spooky face in a birch tree.

It was a fantastic day to be out hiking and Nature-ing with my little pal. As she gets bigger she insists on doing her own walking more and more! We like feeling the moss together and looking for the perfect leaf or stick to wag around. Today we came home dirty, hungry, and brimming with joy. Let’s hope the weather holds for tomorrow!

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