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Posts Tagged ‘Puffball mushrooms’

The trail I walked in the Countryside Round, marked in red.

A couple of hours were available to me yesterday morning, so I was up with the sun and on a trail just as the sun crested the hills to the east. Four or five miles (I haven’t put a string to it) were walked up and down hills, through woods and fields, and along waterways. Along with the excersize, I wanted to see how the woods had fared through the Heat Moon, as the Thunder Moon starts tomorrow.

A young maple showing the signs of enduring a rough year.

And it does look like the Heat Moon, in cohorts with all of the rain the woods have received this year, has taken a bit of a toll. The top of the forest canopy still looks pretty healthy, as does the forest floor, which is still flush with green. But the mid-story level of the woods is showing signs of fatigue. Rust is appearing on the leaves of the smaller trees, some of the staghorn sumac leaves are turning red, and the walnut tree leaves are fading to a pale yellow and falling in quantity when a stronger gust of wind finds them. Of course, being a human, I can witness all this “life is fading in the woods” and try to put a dramatic tone to it. But I’m sure the woods, after all these millenia, is quite expecting this fading, and really couldn’t do without it.

Sure has me thinking of fall and the hunting seasons! Squirrel season starts in less than a month, and an early duck season starts a few weeks after that…That will be some life and death drama – literally.

What used to be a road provided part of the trail.

But back to the walking! And a question!

Have you a piece of the land that you consider “adopted” by you? By this I mean do you have an area that you know like the back of your hand, and know intimately? Where the stands of birches and cottonwoods are, where each oak or hickory tree is located, what kinds of wild fruit trees and berry bushes provide for the critters and possibly yourself, where the sources of water run, and where the major animal trails lead from and to and why, what woodland wildflowers show themselves in the early springtime?

Some of the road is a bit more overgrown, and part of the trail is not road at all, so it wasn't all this easy!

This area has all the makings of an “El Dorado” for this particular walker. I love the trails and the land surrounding and between them. Provisions of the best sort could be had here. From game meat (deer, squirrel, turkey, rabbit, raccoon, and groundhog sign were all present this day) to fruit and vegetable foodstuffs (wild plums, blackberries, sumac shoots, mast trees, and I remember a wild apple tree that a friend and I found morel mushrooms under two years ago, right off this trail!). Very tempting, yes….And a lake to provide fish is not far away.

That is really all I can write to you for now, as two pieces of less than good news are affecting lives of this family for the next few days, weeks and months, and my mind is sure to be a little discombobulated for a bit. But – I’m sure it will all make me take to the trails more than usual to help work it all out, so at least that is something.

Until I can write again, peace and take care!

Your friend,

Casey

P.S. Here are a couple more photos taken during my walk. I hope you enjoy them!

One of the last flowering weeds before fall - goldenrod.

The greens are not so green anymore.

Sumac red - bring it on!

Ripened wild plums. And something has been enjoying them. See that matted-down grass below them?

A stand of cottonwoods and birches. These are my favorite trees, as their leaves seem to be waving Hello! to you in the slightest of breezes.

Small puffball mushrooms in the trail.

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