We had some heavy thunderstorms last week, bringing some much-needed rain to Northeastern Pennsylvania. It had been very dry the past few weeks. I decided to see if the rain brought out any of the wild mushrooms that grow in our area. So I returned to my favorite mushroom woods with my macro lens.
As I began my hike, I was encouraged to find a few species of Amanita mushrooms popping up through the leaf litter. They were not the ones I was looking for. Many of the members of this species are poisonous or deadly.
I was hoping this was a good sign and that I’d find some of the edible species that grow in our area. No such luck. I found a few more members of the Amanita species but not a one that I know to be edible.
It was still a nice day for a walk. It was partly cloudy breezy and cool underneath the thick growth of trees.
Usually, on a rainy day this time of year, you will find hundreds of these critters on the forest floor.
It was still very dry and I only saw this one, an eastern or red- spotted newt. This is the land stage of this common amphibian.
I also again saw hundreds of these tiny toads hopping on the path.
And I saw one more amphibian on my walk, this green frog in one of the ponds.
I saw no deer, chipmunks , squirrels or rabbits on my walk but did see this in the footprint in the mud. I hoped to see the critter that made this huge paw print, a large black bear, but no luck here either.
Summer is past it’s peak now ,and only a few wildflowers now are in bloom.
including more of the spotted wintergreen. The time for the blooming of the many flowers of Spring and early Summer is over.
Now we are seeing the fruits of their flowers , including the wild blueberries, chokeberries and these blackberries which are beginning to ripen.
One berry was just beginning to flower, the teaberry. There bright red berries can be found, and enjoyed, even in the winter.
The many scrub oaks along the trail were also producing their acorns.
I was surprised, and pleased, that there were not many mosquitoes and other insects active on my hike. It could have been because of the brisk breeze.
As I was walking back , I finally found a couple wild edible yellow chanterelle mushrooms. Please, if you are not an expert, don’t attempt to eat any wild mushroom. A mistake could kill you.
I didn’t find a lot edible mushrooms on my six-mile hike as I had hoped. But I still got to enjoy the woods of my beloved Northeastern Pennsylvania, and that is always a good thing.
Hopefully, with rain in the forecast for this week, the dry spell will end , and I will find some wild mushrooms on my next hike. And provide me with my favorite Summer meal. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Macro hike July 21 2018
“ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt