Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bog Hopping on Halloween

Happy Halloween!

When you're not afraid of snakes or spiders, and you find dead critters or piles of poop more fascinating than icky, it's hard to think of anything really creepy to photograph for a Halloween greeting. That's why Sue and I went to a bog this afternoon.

A bog should be kind of creepy, right? With all that oozy muck underfoot and the skeletons of dead trees standing stark against a leaden sky? But despite a truly leaden sky and even some spitting snow showers today, the bog was as cheerful as Christmas, with Leatherleaf shrubs all bright red and green,

and the Tamarack needles turning bright gold before they drop.

I guess this Russula mushroom might look a little bit Halloweeny, round as it is and colored Jack-o-lantern orange.

And this other THING, all damp and brown and hairy-looking, does look more like a creepy crawly than the mushroom I'm guessing it is. (It was like an upside-down mushroom, with its undersides smooth and its top sides textured like fur. Anybody know what it is?)

Aha! HERE's something that at least fits the Halloween color scheme of orange and black: an unusual inky lichen covering the twigs of this Tamarack tree.

And here's another lichen, a shaggy one that does look a little bit creepy. Or are there two lichens covering this branch of a dead Black Spruce, the flat grey one a foliose lichen and the beard-like green lichen a fruticose one? I should know this, but I have forgotten.

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