Images #284 – Cinnabar Cort


SAM_1832

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.

SAM_1819

 

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.  ❧

SAM_1837

 

Side-tracked in Florida

Hello faithful readers,

I’ve been away. My last entry, September 3rd,  is almost two months old. I’ve been in Florida campaigning for Amendment 2, the medical cannabis initiative. In the past five weeks I’ve made about 15 appearances, written articles that appeared in The Sarasota Herald-Tribune and The Orlando Sentinel, and talked to a few reporters. Today I attended a previewing of a new documentary, Pot Luck.  I have been immersed again in medical cannabis and it has been a good experience. For those who are unfamiliar with my medical cannabis activism I invite you to visit www.medicalmarijuanapioneer.com.

But I have missed my Alice’s WanderLand blog and today, after viewing the movie, I took some time to return to my cameras and visit the world around me. I’ve been so fortunate in my life and that good fortune has continued. I have a wonderful garret apartment over a garage and at my doorstep is 5+ acres of old Florida land. It is owned by my friend Mary and I am so grateful that she has extended our friendship into hospitality. I’ve always wanted to live in a garret. 🙂

Mary bought some bromeliads a couple weeks back and she recently noticed that some small frogs were inhabiting them. It was easy enough to find them and they were posers.

AOL_1144

 

 

 

 

I think this one may actually be looking at an even smaller frog or perhaps a spider that it plans to eat for dinner.

 

I counted at least six frogs but there may have been more.AOL_1169

 

It is good to be back.  ❧

Image #273 – The Slug

Image #273

Too often in our violent society the term “slug” conjures images of spent bullets and CSI discoveries. But there is an entire universe of living slugs that prove the bane of some gardeners and a treat for some photographers. This fellow was enjoying a meal in the cold, dark woods of California’s North Coast.  According to Wikipedia, “Slug is a common name for an apparently shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc.”   There are many different kinds but all have the distinctive head with four antennae-like protrusions. The top set are the slug’s “eyes” while the bottom set serve as olfactory tools. All four can be retracted and regrown. ❧

Image #272 – Persistence, The Little Mushroom that Could

Image #272

The next time you find yourself whining about a bad day consider this little guy.  No more than two inches high, I found him pushing his way through the gravel on our driveway. Let’s give it up for this Little Mushroom that Could.  I don’t know which is more impressive…the mushroom or the iPhone that took the picture. It is quite a time we live in. Our pockets bulge with technology that was unimaginable just a few short years ago. The best part is we have it there, at our finger-tips, to capture and share these incredible moments. ❧

Image #270 – Fawn Hill’s Wildflowers

Side Hill Flower

 

This is my second summer at Fawn Hill. It’s an abbreviated one because of my Western travels last Spring and the Florida election this Fall. I will head back to Florida on September 5 and begin campaigning for Amendment 2, the medical marijuana initiative.

But even with an abbreviated stay of  about 12 weeks it has been a lovely time. The house has moved beyond the phase of everything seeming critical.  There are still plenty of fixer-upper things to do but last year’s sense of urgency is gone. More importantly, the hard work of last year has begun to pay.  The front side hill is a perfect example.  When we first arrived it was terribly overgrown with brambles and no small amount of poison ivy. It required most of last summer to eradicate both of those scourges.  But having cleaned out the mess I was then confronted with what to do with the space.  There were still plenty of things to do and so I let it slide.  When I arrived back in June of this year the wildflowers had begun to take over and I decided to let things go. It was the wait-and-see approach and it has been fun.

The center of the collage is an overall picture of what I currently have, a swatch of wildflowers. The always reliable Queen Anne’s Lace is a dominant player but there are others.  In the upper right is a close-up of what I now know is Punctureweed.  I have lots of it and have learned it is a scourge to grass eating creatures such as cows.  But the bees absolutely adore it and can’t seem to move fast enough to get every last bloom. Below that is a Butterfly Pea, a sweet little thing. The red Coreopsis, I confess, was bought and planted by me. I hope it lives long and prospers. I love the color. The last is Purple Milkwort and, as you can see, the bees like it also.

Next year I will help the area with some wildflower seed and perhaps some Cosmos seeds.  The area is so steep it is impossible to maintain anything too demanding. Wildflowers only demand the space to grow.  ❧

Image #265 – The New Meets the Old

Image #265

This feather, likely from an American Goldfinch fledgling,  was shed by its owner, drifted in the breeze, and came to rest on one of the rocks of our stone wall.

About 1″ in length, it was not exactly flashing neon to get noticed. But that little yellow tip caught my eye.

It rests on the wall lichen which is probably 15 years of age.

Just a moment from Fawn Hill… ❧

Image #262 – Stewards of the Land

Image #262

 

Having dominion over the land and sea is not an easy task and recent history will call to question whether we are doing a good job of things. As for me, I do my best to keep things in order here on my little acre on Fawn Hill. Today that included trimming dead branches and leaves from the apple trees. The late frost of last April took its toll but, fortunately, not all the fruit. This year’s bounty will be no where near last year’s but there will still be plenty. There is evidence the deer are already enjoying the fruit of my apple trees.  I’m glad.  ❧

Image #261 – A Soggy Hummingbird

Image #261

 

A soggy hummingbird gives me the eye during our two days of constant rain. Thankfully it was constant and not torrential but it was seriously constant and it made it tough for our friends who live in trees.  Where do they go when night falls?  Certainly some are minding nests and protecting young ones. Last night must have been a long one because the rain did not cease.  First order of business when the rain stopped? Off to Tractor Supply for more birdseed, of course.  ❧

Image #259 – More Indian Pipes

Indian Pipe collage

 

My previous post (Image #258 – Indian Pipe Emerging) prompted a good friend to send me an email that said, in part,

Your image reminded me of a crocus, while some of the other images on the net looked so much like fungi I could hardly believe they were plants.  What a wonderful world this is, filled with so many remarkable and beautiful things for those who have eyes to see.  Getting the big picture is important, but you will never get the big picture if you don’t also study the small things.
Indian Pipes can really teach us a thing or two about the small stuff and also the well worn adage, you can’t judge a book by its cover. For example, it is easy to look at these remarkable structures and assume they are a variation of a mushroom but they are, in fact, a plant. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture classifies it as a wildflower and their website provides pictures of the actual bloom, something I have set my sights on obtaining.  I was aware that the Indian Pipe has a source of nectar. The honey bee in the upper right corner of the collage keyed me in to that fact last summer.  The bee, by the way, is making a return appearance here in Alice’s Wanderland. He was originally featured in Image #52.

Indian Pipes are sometimes called “Ghost” or “Corpse” plant because of its remarkable lack of color or, more accurately, chlorophyll.  According to Wikipedia:

Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.
The plants are rare which makes our growth here on Fawn Hill a true bonanza. They are popping up all over the hill and their presence makes me re-think efforts to clear certain areas of overgrowth and debris. One person’s debris is a plant’s lifeline.  We’ll do all that we can to preserve these lovely creatures.  What a wonderful world indeed. ❧

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: