Sunday, July 19, 2015

Midsummer Mood-lifter

Well, I kind of expected depression would happen, since it's a known side-effect that often follows surgery.  So I tried not to let them get me down too much, these feelings of loss, of lack of interest in much of anything, I've been experiencing these past few weeks, along with reviving pain and fatigue.  To cope, I slept a lot.  Naps in the morning and again in the afternoon.  None of my wonderful books could hold my interest.  Did I think I could post a blog?  Nah, forget about it!  And I almost turned down my friend Nancy's offer to take me out for a nature walk on Wednesday afternoon.  Too tired.  But oh, the weather was just so gorgeous, perhaps it might do me good.  And oh boy, did it!  Just what the doctor ordered!

We chose Bog Meadow Nature Trail as a relatively easy spot to walk, and this wooded wetland was in full mid-summer GREEN, all lush and lovely.  And for some miraculous reason, the woods was relatively free of biting bugs.  The gods were smiling on my efforts to get back outdoors this day.

We didn't expect to find many flowers in the deep shade of the woods, but we were pleased to find a number of lovely mushrooms.  This sulphur-yellow mushroom is Boletus ornatipes, the Ornate-stalked Bolete.  The porous underside of many Boletes will stain blue when pressed, but this one does not, which helped to clinch the ID.  The rough dark shreds on the stalk was another identifying factor.  This is a mushroom I have never encountered before.

I'm guessing this is a Painted Bolete (Suillus spraguei, also called S. pictus) because of the reddish shreds atop a yellow cap, although the color is not as red as I usually see it.  But it was still a pretty thing, especially arrayed with this lovely green Pincushion Moss (Leucobryum glaucum).

I can't believe I actually spotted this pinhead-sized Eyelash Cup Fungus (Scutellinia scutellata) nestled down in the mossy mud.  Of course, that vivid red color makes it hard to miss.  You have to look REALLY close, though, to see the tiny "eyelashes" that give this miniature fungus its common name.

For redness, as well as for beauty, the Red Russula mushroom (Russula emetica) really has few rivals among the fungi.  Even though it was small, its lovely velvety cap was hard to miss.

This Eyed Brown Butterfly couldn't have known how delighted I was to see it and how badly I hoped it would hold this pose so I could take its photo.  But I do thank it for doing so, anyway.  We have a number of small brown butterflies with eye-spots on their underwings, so I always have to study the placement and number of eyespots very carefully to determine the species.  I'm pretty confident that this is indeed an Eyed Brown.  A subtle beauty, but a beauty, nevertheless.

A couple more butterflies, Skippers of unknown species,  kept visiting this beautiful pink Swamp Milkweed, so even though they never sat still, I just kept clicking away with my camera and managed to capture a shot of them.

As I mentioned before, wildflowers are not that abundant this deep into summer in wooded areas, but wherever the sunlight could find its way to the ground, we were delighted by the vivid blue beauty of Blue Vervain.

The big wildflower prize, though, was sighting a splendid Canada Lily glowing like a lamp in the shaded woods.  I had thought we were too late to find them by now, so I am imagining that this one held on long enough to give me a jolt of joy when I needed it.  Thank you, you lovely creature.  Your beauty was better than Prozac for lifting my mood.

Thanks, too, to this other beautiful creature, a tiny Marbled Orb Weaver who spun her web on my back porch,  where the setting sun lit up its diaphanous strands to remind me that beauty can surprise me at any moment, anywhere.  Life is good!

And a special thanks to Nancy, who called me out of my gloom and into the delights of a summer woodland and the pleasure of her companionship.


catharus said...

So good to hear your spirits were lifted! Isn't Nature wonderful?!

threecollie said...

It is wonderful what the outdoors can do for us. Hope you continue to feel better and happier.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and sending loving wishes for healing and recovery. Your beautiful words & photos have healed many hearts! MKJ

Julie said...

Glad to see you out and about! Great pictures.