It’s a good year for fungi

They say we’ll see the sun again tomorrow.  They also say this has been one of the rainiest years on record.  I’m not sure about the first statement, but I do think the second must be right.  What is normally our dry season is almost a monsoon season this year.

Read the rest of this entry »

236: Flourishing in the rain

Nature alone is antique and the oldest art a mushroom.

~ Thomas Carlyle

While some things are not doing so well in our supersaturated system caused by all the rain, others are flourishing.  The fungi are loving it.

Read the rest of this entry »

One Two Zero


It has been 120 days since I started my year-long commitment to step outside every day.  That’s one-third of the journey completed.

(The fungi ladder.)

One of the unexpected benefits of this commitment is that I’ve found myself stepping outside of my comfort zone on a number of occasions.  Perhaps there is something about sticking with a commitment on a daily basis that makes a person braver.  Or maybe it’s a matter of growth, this wanting to reach and stretch.

(Radiant reds.  Winterberry.)

Boredom (or familiarity) may be a factor as well.  I walk the same paths most days.  It’s good to go somewhere different once in a while and/or do something novel.  Learn to ski.  Practice food photography.  Take on a challenge of some kind.  Find a new way to capture the familiar.

(A delicacy.)

The hardest part, so far, is the posting to the blog every day.  One hundred twenty days of blog posts with more to come.  Yikes.  Talk about a challenge, especially in terms of keeping it interesting.

Frankly my dears, I’m running out of things to blog about on the days where nothing really happens and my walks are limited to Breezy Acres.  If you have any suggestions, ideas, questions for me, photos you’d like to see, challenges — anything at all — please leave your ideas, etc., in the comments.  I’ll see what I can do.

Blindingly White

That was my first thought when I stepped out the door today.  The sky is white.  The ground is white.  The snow falling from the sky is white, and everything is being covered in a new layer of white.

(My boot print in the snow.)

Winter seems to have come to us in layers this year.  On the bottom it is wet and muddy.  The layer above that is snow.  Then ice.  Then snow again, being freshly laid today.  I can see the layers in my footprints, more so in some places than in others.  Every step is crunchy as my boots make their way through the icy layer.

(Layers.  Snow, grass, dried flowers, fungus, wood.)

This is where the posts get boring (to me).  I turn my outdoor adventures into weather reports.  I’m not sure what else to write about them.  It’s cold.  Snow falls.  I shiver.  My face gets numb.  My nose runs.  My eyes water if it’s windy.  And my legs work hard walking through the snow.

(Bright white on a holly bush.)

It’s 24ºF outside.  The radar is covered in blue to represent the snow.  Off the radar, outside, it’s difficult to see because of the heavy snowfall.

(Today’s view of the creek.)

But back in the woods, by the creek, it is calmer.  Quieter.  I could hear the snowflakes hitting the ground after making their way between the trees.  It’s a good place to rest, sheltered from the wind and the heavy snow.

Trees are sanctuaries.  Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.  They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

~ Hermann Hesse

40: Leftovers

(Looking below the surface in the woods.)

It’s day 40 of my commitment to get outside every day.  During the past 40 days I’ve collected a few photos that I couldn’t seem to fit into a post.  Before I move them to a back-up hard drive, I thought I’d go ahead and share a few of them.

(Fungus in the wood pile.)

Today is also the first day of NaBloPoMo and of course I was crazy enough to sign up.  It’s fun, I get to meet new bloggers, and it is always a challenge because every year November turns out to be a busy month for me.  It’s no different this year.  M and I will be engaged in plenty of activities.

(Ready for winter.)

It was below 30 degrees when I rolled out of bed this morning.  The frost is hanging around longer in the mornings.  I wore my winter coat for the first time on Saturday.  Hat, gloves, and winter coat:  the holy trinity of winter around here.  Or it could be frost, ice, and snow.  Depends on how you look at it.

(A tangle of cattails.)

(A mushroom tower hiding in the grasses.)

Today’s walk

I bundled up and went out around noon today.  I like morning walks but may have to start taking them later in the day when it’s warmer.  For today, though, noon was good.  It’s breezy but the sun is shining and providing just enough heat to keep it from being too nippy.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

The pond was providing nice reflections while the birds and wind produced a lovely autumn soundtrack to go with my walk.  I heard and then spotted a bird I’ve never seen before.  I think it was a small hawk of some kind.  I haven’t had much luck in identifying it (so far).  The photos I took are too dark and blurry to be of much help.


There is a dule of doves living in the woods near an old apple tree.  I pass them on my way through the cattails.  Poor things are frightened into flight each time I come by.  A few weeks ago, during my first pass by them after they’d settled there, the flurry of feathers was such a panic that two of the birds flew into each other.  They are not quite used to me yet, but at least they are a little calmer about moving from the ground to the trees when I come by now.

(A dove in the distance.)

As I sit here typing this, a recording of John Glenn is being recorded on my answering machine.  He’s yammering away about how I should get out and vote tomorrow.  I am flattered that a man who was an astronaut (first American to orbit the earth) and U.S. senator thinks my vote is that important.  Not too flattered, though, since it’s only a recording and only going out to probably every phone number in the state of Ohio.

(The neighbor’s pony.)

The Republicans and Tea Party folks want me to vote, too.  The phone has been a source of much yammering and nagging about politics lately.  It’s worse today.

Not to worry, all you politicos.  I’ll be voting, in spite of having fallen into the enthusiasm gap.  Or maybe because of it.  Whatever the case, I’ll be there with my lack of enthusiasm, unenthusiastically (but without whining about it) voting for the lesser of the evils.  I am old enough to know better than to expect change overnight.  Still, I’m disappointed.  That said, I don’t want to go back to the way things were either.  So, I’ll vote.  I’ll vote.  I really will.  No need to keep nagging me about it.

(Light and leaves drifting.)