My latest hike into the ravine behind the house was very relaxing. It was just me - Monty stayed at home with Spring and they both had a snooze on a sleepy Saturday. The sun was bright and overhead and hot in spots. As I entered the canopy of trees in the woods, shade took over but for a fews spots.
A polypore (note the many pores on the bottom here) bracket fungus is a saproxylic species - that is, it grows on and digests dead wood.
A fly sunned itself beside me. I saw butterflies, mosquitoes, moths and other flying insects. At night down there if you stay silent and motionless, bats will zoom through the darkness and you can hear their clicking echo-location sounds.
I believe this is a Cheese of some sort - a relative of the Marsh Mallow.
Another little fungus hanging out on a dead branch.
I thought these thick leaves were intriguing and I leaned down to take a photograph of them.
As I positioned my elbow and side in the soft earth of the forest floor, I looked under and saw a Jack in the Pulpit hiding beneath its larger 'guard' leaves (I'm calling them that!).
The spathe was visible - I wonder if I had looked inside whether I would see some dead insects in the collected water.
As I lay on the ground inspecting the forest floor for life, I saw a grey fluffy mass. It looked like an animal dropping. On closer inspection it occurred to me that this was likely the dropping of an owl or a hawk.
It contained the grey fur of a rodent, along with the bones. In the photograph above you can see a little tiny femur top left, and a lower jaw bone, tooth intact. These were very small.
I got up and took out my BlackBerry. It's a new model, and has GPS built right into it. I opened Google Maps, and in the satellite view I was able to see my precise location within the forest. As I wandered about and found various places - like a tree I can sit on, and a place for a good campfire, I marked them in the memory. This way I can find them at night! Technology...
Yellow Wood-Sorrel (Oxalis spp.) Rich in vitamin C, the fresh leaves make a nice addition to a salad, or can be steeped in hot water, chilled, combined with sugar to make a nice cold drink. All species of Wood-Sorrel are edible. Yum.
I lifted up a piece of loose bark on a tree and found a cocoon. Something for a woodpecker to chew on.
Black Mustard (Brassica Nigra).
Use: Salad, cooked green, cooked vegetable, pickle.
That's all for now - more later.
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