Wednesday, August 02, 2006


It's hot. It's hotter than's hot, humid, and absolutely miserable! It's pretty bad when we, as a family, all slept in the air conditioned downstairs last night. I was reduced to sleeping with mother on a matress on the floor! Damn she hogs all the covers!

I noticed the branches of raspberries are finally ripening, and becoming heavy under the weight of their own berries. Birds are ever evident, but have seemingly hushed with the heat and humidity, leaving most of the raucious singing to the world of insects.

Katydid's have began their annual mating ritual of chanting raspily in the trees, a sound that really brings me back to my school days. When the katydids started rasping in the trees, that meant school was coming! Now, as a 22 year old, it only means that autumn is coming! favorite of all seasons!

The other day father and I road up an old mountain road that is miles away from civilization. The forest is state game lands, owned and preserved for hunters and sportsman. On one log, a bright orange and yellow fungus had sprouted. It jutted almost arrogantly out against the dark wood. Closer examination revealed that it was indeed the Sulphur Shelf or "Chicken Mushroom". This species is edible so long as it grows on oaks, and most deciduous trees. If it's on a conifer, or locust...then it can make you sick.

Further up the road, more shrooms caught my eye, and eventually we passed an eastern garter snake on the road. He had been run over within the past 24 hours undoubtedly, and I couldn't imagine what horrid luck that snake must've had to have been hit by a car on such an un-used road! The likely story is, he was sitting on the road absorbing sunlight and warmth, rather than simply crossing.

This mountain is georgous. Father and I have hunted wild turkeys here in the past, and it truly is a glorious place to spend a May morning!

The dirt road twists up the high mountain, and you can see out over a valley for miles. You can even see the Tuskovich property (my secret spot), before it eventually dissapears behind another mountain. At this point, you can look down and see a beautiful stream bottom bordered by eastern hemlock. The majority of the forest however is dominated by oak, maple, and birch.

The stream is a wild one, unscathed by stocked trout or mankinds invasion. To this day wild brook trout can be found occuring naturally, just as they have since before man even settled here.

Atop the mountain things flatten out for a little while, and the picture looks a lot more like something out of a jurassic park movie than anything else. Tall oaks, beeches, and ash trees dominate, and there is practically NO understory at all, minus a great sea of bright green ferns!

Sunlight bursts through the treetops, who's leaves have been chewed heavily by gypsy moths. Were the light meets the forest floor, a lone fawn stands, reddish summer coat complete with spots.

It won't be long until the spots are gone, the coat is shed, and autumn is here. It won't be long at all.