Where did the last 10 days go? I sure wasn't here on my blog! And it all seems a blur of various appointments that busied my days, plus several days spent reacting to a Covid booster shot that had me napping under heaps of blankets three afternoons in a row and not spending much time outdoors. I did manage to get out here and there and take a few photos, so I'll post some now, just to catch up.
November 7, Bend of the Hudson River, Moreau: This was such a beautiful Sunday afternoon, my husband wanted to join me for a walk. And we did have a lovely walk through an old abandoned cemetery back in the woods. Usually, when I walk with my husband, I don't stop to take any photos. But driving home along Spier Falls Road, which follows the Hudson River, we both were struck by the beauty of the river banks made golden by the low afternoon sun, so perfectly reflected in the still water. So I did stop and take some photos.
The Warren County bank of the Hudson, right where the river bends sharply to the northeast:
November 13, the Saratoga County banks of the Hudson at Moreau: I wanted to show my friend Amy Godine the stretch of the Hudson that had inspired this blog back in 2009. Amy, a loyal reader of my blog, is also a marvelous writer and frequent contributor to the magazine Adirondack Life, and she told me she plans to write an article about my blog for this wonderful magazine. Oh my gosh, what an honor! Of course, I'd hoped for a beautiful day, but we got a rainy one instead. No matter. We had a great walk and talk together, and I do believe Amy was truly impressed by the wild natural beauty of this stretch of the Hudson, where forested mountains fall straight to the water's edge and wooded islands dot the quiet bays. And we will have other occasions to walk together, in nicer weather.
November 14, Stark's Knob, Schuylerville: I had been slated to lead my friends in The Thursday Naturalists on a visit to this remarkable geologic site this week. And it is an amazing experience, to stand beneath this huge mound of Pillow Basalt, and imagine being here some 460 million years ago when this site was well beneath the sea and lava poured through a crack in Earth's crust to immediately congeal to solid rock in the water. Just looking at this huge mound of black bulbous rock, I could certainly imagine that lava boiling up from below the sea!
November 15, The Hudson Crossing Park, Schuylerville: This park is not just a scenic walk along the Champlain Canal and the Hudson River, although it certainly is that, with about two miles of easily walkable trails offering lovely views of these waterways. It is also an educational destination featuring signage describing the historical significance of the site for both native people and later arrivals, as well as descriptions of its natural history. There is also a children's play park and a covered pavilion for picnickers. This photo shows a historic iron bridge, no longer used by autos but now converted to a walkway for pedestrians and a lane for snowmobiles.
As for botanical finds, there are many American Bladdernut shrubs (Staphylea trifolia) along the riverbanks. The hollow bladders holding the seeds still remain on many shrubs.
Ah, but the FUNGI stole the show today! We sure found lots of different kinds and colors. These Split-gill Fungi (Schizophyllum commune) were very small, but also quite visible against the dark wood of a rotting tree limb.
And here was the genuine fungal bonanza: a single tree stump colonized by lots of different fungi, all fruiting at once! The following photos are my best guesses as to the names of the individual fungi inhabiting this one stump.
All of the fungi we found on this visit are known to be persistent instead of ephemeral. So I am eager to show them all to my friends when we visit this Hudson Crossing Park later this week.