Not Many Mushrooms, But Some Late Summer Flowers And Insects.

Not Many Mushrooms, But Some Late Summer Flowers And Insects.

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Although it is now September, we had some hot and humid weather this past week. It was also dry. Not the best conditions for mushrooms  The temperatures  dropped on Saturday and I was out in the woods, early,  hoping to find some edible mushrooms. aspen scaber or "red top" mushroom

I first visited the pine, birch and aspen woods were my dad first showed  us how  to pick  “red top” and  “cozie” mushrooms. I have since learned they are one of the many species  of  orange and birch bolete.  I  only found a few old “red tops”   growing on my hike on Saturday."red top" or aspen scaber mushrooms

And a few two colored bolete which my dad would never eat. two-colored bolete mushrooms

Although there are  not the multitude of beautiful wild  flowers that are found in spring there were still some I found along the trails on this  cloudy morning including  a type of ladies-tresses orchid, lady tress orchid

and a species of what I think is a  gentian. 

And, unfortunately many species of rag weed.bee on ragweed

I left the mixed aspen-birch and pine woodlands and drove to an area were oaks and maple are dominant. I was now looking for hens of the woods (locally called ramsheads) and chicken   of the woods mushrooms.  They are also late this year. I usually find the first ones late in August. I hiked a few miles and finally found a small hen of the woods or, as we call them here in Hazleton, a “ramshead” mushroom. The Japanese call them maitake  or the “dancing mushroom” since they dance with joy when the find them. I was happy too but left this one since it was still very small.  hen of the woods or "ramsheads" mushroom

I didn’t find any more mushrooms but did see some critters in the woods. Many of the song birds have already headed south but I saw a few goldfinches and black-capped chickadees. black-capped chickadee in pine tree

I again found quite a few monarch butterfly caterpillars  feeding on a patch of milkweed.monarch butterfly caterpillar on milkweed

I am glad I am seeing so many this year since their numbers have been dwindling in our area. monarch butterfly caterpillar

As I watched the caterpillars much on the milkweed I  spotted this grasshopper  climbing  on a milkweed plant. grasshopper on milkweed

The woods are starting to change now and many trees and plants are beginning to change colors. The blue berry bushes are one of the first to turn a brilliant red color.

And many of the ferns have already turned brown. +-

I found a few more bolete mushrooms, enough for a nice meal. However, even though I didn’t find  many mushrooms, I once again enjoyed the late summer beauty of our woods in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Macro hike September 8 2018. 

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
–   Helen Hunt Jackson

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