Too Dry For The Mushrooms, But Another Nice Hike With My Macro Lens.
Usually, by the second week of July here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the first mushrooms make their appearance. It has been dry here the past few weeks but wild mushrooms are unpredictable, and I decided to take a hike and see what I could find.
It was mostly sunny and hot when I arrived at one of my mushroom areas. Fortunately most of this hike would be in the shade. As anyone who gathers wild mushrooms knows, I’m not going to reveal where this was. I started my hike under the shade of the trees on the path.
It didn’t take me long to know the conditions were too dry and it wasn’t going to be a successful day. There were only a few scattered mushrooms growing along the path and some were deformed from the like if moisture.
I brought my camera and macro lens along so I decided to continue my hike and to again photograph the beauty of Nature up close.
I was surprised to see this dragonfly in this area and I suspect there must be a pond nearby.
It was nice walking under the shade of the trees growing along the path. The shade contributed to the many species of mushrooms that usually grow in this area. But not this day. I found only a few growing in the dry conditions including this member of the mostly poisonous amantha species.
As I kept my eyes peeled for the mushrooms I saw some of the smaller inhabitants of our woodlands including this spider.
I also encountered thousands of this tiny baby toads hopping on the forest floor.
They must have just left the ponds where they were they matured. They were everywhere on the ground. They will grow to about the size of the palm of my hand. They were a tiny version of how the would appear when mature.
I always am fascinated by the way even a simple leaf looks up close with my macro lens.
I continued my hike finding only a few isolated mushrooms on the way.
I also found a few if these unique plants growing. Indian pipes. They are not mushrooms but plants that do not produce chlorophyll.
I found a few high bush blueberries or ‘swampers’ along the trail. They are begging to ripen and I hope to be picking some soon.
I hiked out about three miles stopping for a rest at a small pond where I saw some more dragonflies and their smaller relatives the damselflies.
Even the water insects looked interesting with the macro lens.
I heard many birds singing in the trees along the trail and saw a few, including a family of woodpeckers. I believe they were hairy woodpeckers or yellow bellied sapsuckers. This was the best photograph I could get with my macro lens.
I came across this sight, the remains of what was once a downy or hairy woodpecker.
It must have been eaten by a hawk or owl.
I continued my return hike along the same trail so I found no new mushrooms but did take some photographs of the few wild flowers now in bloom including this spotted wintergreen.
I usually take my walks along trails where I can get some sun on my back and shoulders. The local railroad tracks are my tanning booth. But I have to admit I enjoyed this six mile walk under the shade of the trees. I didn’t feel anywhere near as tired as a six mile walk in the sun. It is raining as I write this post so my blueberry picking plans are canceled. But, the rain should bring out the mushrooms. We shall see. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Macro lens hike. July 14 2018.
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.” Edward Abbey