Sunday, August 20, 2006

Take only pictures, leave only footprints...

Despite recent arguments, I managed to work up the gall to spend the day with my father.

After a trip to the local BK, and a stop at the local dairy dip for some soft serve, we opted to burn some of the calories amongst the splendor of our natural world. On this day, we visited the area in which my family carries out the yearly tradition of deer hunting. Today though, as the saying so often goes: took only pictures, and left only footprints.


Today we recieved quite a few cool breezes, thanks in part to the recent front that passed through (giving us rain as well!). The recent rain, in turn, meant for some more mushrooms, many of which had been preserved from the heat and lack of rain by a thick canopy of Eastern Hemlock. (Pennsylvania's State Tree.)

Pennsylvania Hemlock forests are among my favorite nature-snooping spots for a few reasons. To begin with, it's cooler, under their dense bows. Also, there is always water and moisture nearby, causing an array of wildlife to appear. Some wildlife, and mushrooms are simply more common (or in some cases, ONLY found) in this rich, moist, hemlock habitat.

Among the most interesting of insects in todays find was what I identified as a Horned Fungus Beetle.

Horned Fungus Beetle

Horned Fungus Beetle

As you can see, I managed a few snapshots of a mating pair on a Hemlock Varnish Shelf. I found a few specimens of HVS today, including one that dwarfed my dads coffee cup!

Hemlock Varnish Shelf

Hemlock Varnish Shelf

Pretty obviously, Hemlock Varnish Shelf is only found in hemlock forests.

Other kinds of mushrooms were found today, none of which were given a positive ID.





All in all, a good day with plenty of good photos to share.


Peace, love, and hugs to all.