Photographs From A Couple Of Labor Day Weekend Hikes

Photographs From A Couple Of Labor Day Weekend Hikes

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Labor Day is the ‘unofficial’ end of Summer here In Northeastern Pennsylvania and much of the United States.  My earliest memories of this holiday weekend  were both good and bad. I wasn’t happy going back to school, but it was also the beginning of “mushroom” season. And I loved mushroom season . aspen scaber or "red top" mushroom

I loved hiking in the woods with my dad and brothers looking for edible wild mushrooms. My dad knew two species of bolete he called red tops and “cozies” a shortened   version of a Polish word I have long forgotten. And Labor Day Weekend was when he would first take us out looking for them. bolete mushroom

Over the years I have learned to identify many more species of edible mushrooms and spent this past Labor Day Weekend looking for them. I wasn’t very successful. I only found a couple of older red tops and only a few other edible mushrooms.  Mushrooms are fickle,  and even though we have had plenty of rain, there were not a lot growing. The mushrooms above are bolete  mushrooms and the ones below poisonous amanita mushrooms. amanita mushrooms

However, as always, I enjoy spending time searching in the woods searching for them. I carried my camera and macro lens with me and photographed the few mushrooms I found. This is a poisonous pig skin mushroom.. poison pigskin puffball mushroom

As I walked through the woods I noticed more signs of the end of summer, including some fall colors on some  the trees, including the sassafras. sassafras leaf

It is one of the first trees to change colors in late summer.sassafras leaf

And it is unusual in that the tree has three different types of leaves, all tree shown here. sassafras leaf

Some of the many species of ferns are also starting to change color.close up of fern

Fortunately, there were a lot less mosquitoes in the areas I hiked last weekend. But there were a lot of spider webs along the trails.spider web

And of course were there are spider webs there are spiders. spider on web

I also observed some  monarch butterfly caterpillars  feeding on the  milkweed plants as I walked through the woods. monarch butterfly caterpillar

I found more of them this year than I have seen in a long time. monarch butterfly caterpillar

I only found a few mushrooms on my hikes last weekend. But I still had some left over from the previous weekend. So I had enough for a few meals. I love gathering and eating the many species of wild edible mushrooms that grow in Pennsylvania. But remember DO NOT eat any wild mushroom you find in the wild unless you are 100% sure it is safe. A poisonous mushroom can make you very ill or even kill you.  Please consult an expert before you embark upon this hobby. amanita mushroom

I’m hoping next weekend will be more successful in my search for wild mushrooms. However, even If I don’t find any, I will still enjoy the woods of Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikes Labor Day Weekend.  Hikes September 1 2018


  • “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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