October Memories

Sunrise22Sept17#4006E2c8x10

Wisps of clouds and soft colors defined a warm and peaceful sunrise

LeavesFrogs10Oct17#4715E2c5x7

Natural rhythms were interrupted by unusually warm, dry and erratic weather patterns

LeafSpring10Oct17#4724E2c5x7

Early leaf drop and muted colors in woodlands shifted attention to the landscape underfoot

MoonHarvest7Oct17#4533E5c8x10

The Harvest Moon reminded all of the landscape overhead

GeeseGulls17Oct17#4865E2c4x6

Harvested fields were crowded with hungry geese

GeeseGulls17Oct17#4820E2c8x10

Gulls as well as geese foraged in dense, low fog on cold mornings

CanalRdPond24Oct17#5404E2c4x6

Searches for fall landscapes led to familiar haunts, like the old mill pond

BeaverMale19Oct17#5293E5c8x10

Driven more by photoperiod than the tricky warm weather, a mature male beaver prepared for winter by harvesting an aspen tree and stashing branches at the family lodge

Sumac25Oct17#5462E2c8x10

Staghorn Sumac was on fire!

ChickenOfTheWoods28Oct17#5590E5c5x7

A large ash tree, dead for many years, returned to life. An impressive mass of “Chicken-of-the woods” fungus fruited on the base of the snag and lit up a drab woodland scene.

LeavesStream30Oct17#5644E2c8x10

October reflections

Photos by NB Hunter (October 2017). © All Rights Reserved.

 

Advertisements

Fruiting Bodies!

Woodlands come alive in late summer as fungi and related plants respond to warm, moist growing conditions with visible forms of their life cycles. Fruiting bodies of myriad shapes, sizes and colors appear, sometimes overnight (they thrive in darkness!). The show can be every bit as rewarding as the spring flush of wildflowers…and just as fleeting too.

Mushrooms26Aug16#4071E6c5x7

Mushrooms emerging through a layer of spruce needles

 

CoralFungus27Aug16#4180E8c8x10_edited-1

Coral Fungus

The Ghost Plant (Indian Pipe) made its way into this series on fungi because it lacks chlorophyll and can grow in the dark. In reality, it is a non-photosynthetic flowering plant that parasitizes the beneficial mycorrhizal fungi associated with tree roots.

IndianPipe26Aug16#4152E2c8x10

The Ghost Plant (Indian Pipe)

Mushroom28Aug16#4261E2c5x7

SpindleFungus29Aug16#4346E2c8x10

Spindle Fungus

MushroomSlug27Aug16#4197E3c8x10

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Wildflower Practice!?

Despite the warm, moist conditions, my woodlot is devoid of wildflowers. It’s too early, and the cold, snowy weather moving in this direction will hold things up a bit longer.  Under the circumstances, I was ecstatic over this brightly colored macro opportunity, discovered while working in the woods:

Cup fungus on a fallen branch

CupFungus31Mar16#7843E8c5x7

Photo by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Super Cold, Super Cooled

The erratic weather of March helps explain why the definition of “snow” isn’t as simple as one might think. Yesterday morning I discovered a light coating of “graupel”, one of the many types of snow.

The morning temperature at ground level was in the low teens. Cold!!! That night, super-cooled water droplets in the cloud layer had coated snowflakes, which then fell as tiny white balls called graupel (also soft hail, snow pellets).

TurkeyTailGraupel19Mar16#7264E8c8x10

Graupel and frost on Turkey Tail mushroom

MossGraupel19Mar16#7253E2c4x6

Graupel and frost on moss and leaves

MossGraupel19Mar16#7314E2c5x7

Graupel and frost on a moss-covered log

Photos by NB Hunter 19March2016. © All Rights Reserved.

 

Autumn Macros: Fungi

Many types of fungi flourish in the warm, damp conditions that accompany early autumn. I don’t know their taxonomy as well as I should, but love to photograph them. 

Hollow trees, especially the large, old survivors, are woodland magnets that rarely escape my attention. This old growth sugar maple, a boundary line tree, is one that I always approach with great anticipation – perhaps a fisher, raccoon or owl has taken up residence? I discovered something quite different and unexpected on this trip: mushrooms, growing in the damp, dark recesses of the cavity. The last images in my post are a small sampling of this intriguing microsite.

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

A Close Look at Early Fall

Good weather and daily trail walks in a quiet natural area give me the opportunity to capture unusual images of ordinary things.

These photos from last week must be shared:

HBCranberry27Sept13#003E

The fruit of Cranberrybush Viburnum; these will persist into the winter

SMLeaf27Sept13#018Ec8x10

A maple leaf suspended in mid-air by a strand of spider web; a challenging subject, as it was swaying and spinning in a slight breeze and the background was constantly changing.

AsterBee27Sept13#049Ec8x10

A bee on Aster

GSDogwood27Sept13#016Ep

Red-panicle Dogwood ( also called Gray-stemmed or Gray Dogwood)

PuffballSlug27Sept13#040E

Slug feeding on a puffball

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Fun with Fungi – Finale

A major goal of this blog is to provide personal images and text that encompass a wide array of environmental subjects. Deer and foxes are in my radar now, as are the increasingly rich landscapes of autumn. I’m ending the series on fungi with no specific theme, other than beauty. The images cover several of the major taxonomic groups of fungi, including the shelf/bracket, teeth, puffball and cup fungi. These are all late summer – early fall photos taken in Central New York, and are among my favorites.

FLT24Sept11#005E3c8x10

Hericium, in the teeth fungi group; Lion’s Mane (unofficially, I call it the icicle fungus!)

VarnishedConk13June12#032E

A Varnish Shelf Fungus on a rotting log (hemlock I believe)

Home066E

Unidentified mushroom or bolete

ArtistsFungus28Sept11#33E2c5x7

Shelf/bracket fungus

FLT021E

Puffball

WFW044E2

Shelf/bracket fungus on a rotting log

FungusAspenLog24Sept12#039E2

Yellow Fairy Cups. This tiny cup fungus has colonized the end of a 15-year-old, 12-inch diameter log (aspen).

FungusAspen5Oct12#016E2crop5x7

Yellow Fairy Cups — macro.

Photos by NB Hunter. ©  All Rights Reserved.