It’s Still Hot, But That’s Not Stopping Fall From Arriving.
It was another hot and dry day here in northeastern Pennsylvania. We have been experiencing a heat wave this past week and the temperatures are making it feel like mid July. But the heat isn’t keeping the seasons from changing. The signs of fall are everywhere.
Even though it’s been very dry I decided to take a hike to see if I could find some mushrooms. As i walked through the woods both the sounds and silence quickly reminded me Summer is ending. I first noticed the sound of acorns dropping from the oak trees and making a thud as they hit the ground, Then I realized how quiet the woods were, There were very few birds singing today and it appears the robins, goldfinches and other song birds have already started their migration south.
As I walked I came upon clusters of ladies-tresses, a white orchid that blooms in bogs and wetlands in late summer and fall. The ragweed and other late Summer plants are also in bloom.
And, since there are still some flowers blooming i did see a few butterflies, bees and wasps. i was surprised to find only a few dragonflies hovering about. Some years the air is filled with them this time of year but i believe the dry weather we’ve been having has evaporated the many ponds they live in.
I was surprised to come across this critter, ,an eastern spotted newt. I usually find them on rainy days in late Spring or early Summer.
And the dry weather has also affected the mushrooms. Most years, when there is even small amounts of rain, the mushrooms are very abundant this week. Not this year. I came across maybe seven mushrooms on my three mile hike and only two were still edible. The others, birch scaber bolete, or cozies as my dad called them, had dried out from the heat.
Although I wasn’t finding mushrooms it was still enjoying my walk under the trees, some of which were already changing color or dropping leaves.
I would have kept hiking but the sound of thunder caused me to head back to my jeep. Unfortunately the storm never came and we still are in desperate need of rain. It is not looking good for the mushroom season this year. This is a link to some more photographs from my hike today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-5/nggallery/blog-photos/mushroom-hike-september-4-2015
“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.”
― Hal Borland