Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
Our autumn started five days ago here in northern Minnesota and our woods are fairly
Purple Coincap (Collybia iocephala)
flourishing with many varieties of fungi. I love hiking at this time of year and take
Earthstar (Geastrum sp.)
considerable care to find as many as I can and not to crush any of them underfoot,
Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)
and later to identify them, if I can. I am by no means an expert, I hasten to add, but we have several field guides that are great fun to peruse to try to match up the photos
Blue Cheese Polypore (Postia caesia)
that I’ve made with the ones in the books. Here are a few from the past several days.
Scaber Stalks (Leccinum sp.)
I’ve been working on a nature trail for a couple of decades in our south seven acres of forest here in northern Minnesota. I look forward to this time of year with special anticipation, to see what delights will appear. There are always interesting mushrooms and lichens, but this one was particularly rewarding. My Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest tells me it’s a crown-tipped coral mushroom, Artomyces pyxidatus. How lovely!
I’ve been back in Minnesota for a month now and finally have a small window of free time from all the (several dozens of) projects that seem to keep clamoring for my immediate attention. Yesterday, as I walked through our little meadow of anemone flowers, daisies, and birdsfoot trefoil, I spied, in one of the anemonies, a large hoverfly that seemed to be in an odd position. I’ve seen this before, when an insect has been captured by a spider in ambush, so I was not surprised—but quite delighted—when I came in for a closer look. By the time I’d gone in for my tripod and returned, the tiny crab spider had maneuvered it into a more “normal” stance, but this gave me a better angle to see just what drama was unfolding. And how fortunate the timing: It was just in time for Webnesday, too!
Batty had a college roommate, a very good friend, visiting from the US for a few weeks, and one of the places she wanted to share with her was my favorite beach in the area, near the community of Muriwai (MOOR-ee-WYE), an hour’s drive northwest of Auckland city. It has a magnificent stretch of black volcanic sand and a nearby gannet colony that can be observed beautifully from simple platforms accessible from a set of steps ascending from the south end of the beach. There was light rain, but not too much wind, so the light was very good, even though rain gear was necessary. We went on fairly short notice and I was not able to get my best camera gear, but I had my little Olympus Tough G4—which, fortunately, is waterproof. I have been to Muriwai several times in the past and have been very fortunate in my photography of the gannets in flight—here is an example—but I was more limited in my capabilities during this visit, just the day before yesterday. I love this place and will return as often as I can!