Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Good Day for Woods and Waters

Just a quick post tonight, because Man! I am really tired! This beautiful sunny day began with a mushroom walk with friends Ben and Sue (above). Ben had found morel mushrooms earlier this week and took us to search the site for more. And wonder of wonders, we found some! Yellow Morels (Morchella esculenta), the best eating there is. We found just enough to provide each of us a taste, and let me tell you, they were very tasty fried up in butter.

Ben also found this rubbery-looking Common Brown Cup fungus, which my mushroom guide tells me is also edible. But we left it where it was.

After tromping the woods all morning, Sue had to go to work, but Ben (who works for Moreau Lake State Park) was scheduled to lead a paddle that afternoon, so what the heck, my boat's on the car, I'll come along, I said. The last week or so has been too windy or rainy for happy paddling, but today the river was like a dream. (Well, it was calm when we started, but a half-hour into our three-hour paddle the wind came up, which is why I'm so tired tonight.)

All along the shore, Early Azaleas were spilling their clove-scented fragrance across the water. We often smelled them before we saw them.

There were snowy-white Flowering Dogwoods along our route, and clouds of Black Chokeberry blooms. The Sassafras trees spouted fountains of small yellow flowers at the end of each twig, and the banks were starred with masses of tiny Bluets. I tried to take photos, but most of the time, my canoe was heaving about like a roller coaster, and most of my shots were all blurred. This shot of rosy-tipped blueberry shrubs on lichen-encrusted rocks was one of the few that came out.

This image of Marsh St. Johnswort invading a clump of Lance-leaved Violets is not such a great photograph, but it does show the beautiful color of those St. Johnswort leaves -- not to mention the interesting shape of those violet leaves. This violet, while not classified as rare, is not that common, either.

And here's Mother Goose, surveying the scene from her nest on the rocks.

She looked so cozy, and I still had a long paddle upstream and against the wind to get home. But I made it. Now supper is over, the dishes are done, and so I am going to bed.
Oh, one last note: after tying my boat to my car and sitting down on the car seat to tie my shoes, guess what I saw not 10 inches away from my toe? A big fat Yellow Morel! Yum!


Ellen Rathbone said...

I love the photo of the tangled roots along the water's edge. Not enough people appreciate the forms of trees and various tree parts.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, Ellen. I do find the sculptural shapes of roots and stumps and burls and galls most fascinating.