Image #287 – Summer?

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It has been a crazy time for weather. Friends in the Northeast continue to be hammered by snow and ice. In Australia they had not just one but TWO(!) major hurricanes (or cyclones) hitting the country at the same time. One, Cyclone Marcia, was a Category 5!

Here in Central Florida we had freezing temperatures for one night but today, just two days later, it was in the low 80s and this picture, snapped at Myakka Park this afternoon, looks very much like summer time.

Ah, weather! ❧

Image #286 – Family Portrait

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This mother cow and two calves were willing posers this morning as Tango and I took our morning walk around Wilderness Lane.  It was a bright, clear morning and the sun was warming as we took time to consider each other.  When I was growing up in Sarasota there were many, many cows but now it has become a city and there are fewer of these bucolic scenes.  More’s the pity. ❧

Images #284 – Cinnabar Cort


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It is, I think, a Cinnabar Cort (Cortinarius cinnabarinus) mushroom.  About 2″ in height, it was one of many in the woods at Myakka River State Park this week.   About two years ago it was almost impossible to find mushrooms at Myakka. The feral pig population was decimating the population of mushrooms and other edibles. Their destructive pattern of routing through the soil for anything edible was causing great damage to the Park and at last the Park Service authorized a culling of  pigs and the hunters did their work. The Park is infinitely healthier for their efforts.

The Cinnabar Cort is relatively common throughout Florida and I have seen numerous stands in many different places.  From above it would be easy to overlook except for its rich deep color.

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I had never done any macro work with this type of mushroom and was very pleased with the images. I will re-visit the Cinnabar again and promise to share.  ❧

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#283 – Fragrant Chanterelle

Fragrant chanterelle (Craterellus odoratus) in cow pasture.  Sarasota, Florida

Fragrant chanterelle (Craterellus odoratus) in cow pasture. Sarasota, Florida

Faithful readers know of my love affair with fungi.  In the summer of 2013, in the hills of North Carolina, there was a bounty of mushrooms, brought on by abundant rains and a rain forest environment. The colors and shapes captured my imagination and my camera captured their images.

Here in Florida we have mushrooms too, of course.  Fungi exists everywhere, even in Antarctica where more than 20 varieties have been found. This particular variety is, I believe, a Fragrant Chanterelle (Craterellus odoratus).  About 2″ in height, it was emerging in a cow pasture where there is LOTS of fertilizer for these artful creations of nature. ❧

Feeling Sluggish?

Slug in the road

Happy New Year everyone!

Feeling a bit sluggish after the holiday fun? Well, you have nothing on this fellow. I found him in the middle of Wilderness Lane, an infrequently traveled road which gives this slug a better chance to reach the other side. It made me think of the many people emerging from the “holidaze,” just trying to reach the other side. Sending them, and everyone, best wishes for the new year. In the immortal words of John Lennon, “Let’s hope its a good one/Without any tears.” ❧