Autumn Reflection

As I write this the temperature has finally arrived at more normal levels for early October. Until just a few days ago it was much warmer and the season betrayed by the calendar was having a hard time getting started with leaves still reluctant to show their autumn color. That wasn’t all bad as we were treated to sightings of butterflies and other insects not usually seen this late in the year. Given the above average rainfall it continues to be a great time to see fungi which seems to be almost everywhere. Below is a celebration of some things seen over the past couple of weeks. Missing is “the picture” of me paddling the Scioto River, fishing for Smallmouth Bass, as two mature Bald Eagles circled overhead. Oh well, some things would be hard to capture in a photograph and must just be experienced.

Leaf.

.

The above experience prompted me to consider things that can be photographed, which in this case happens to be landscapes. Specifically, it has to do with the difference between how a scene is seen and how the camera captures it. Or putting it another way, after we have been enchanted enough to take the picture, and after a preliminary look are happy with the results, does the image convey the desired message as shot? This then will have a lot to do with the kind and amount of post processing used and it’s limits for a particular photograph. Such things are often a matter of opinion or taste, there being no right or wrong. With that said, we’ve all seen the over saturated colors in autumn landscapes which risk devaluing the place and experience as if to say it wasn’t beautiful enough. Things worth considering I believe.

O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

.

As already mentioned it’s been a great year for fungi. Apparently chicken Fungi and puffballs are edible but I think we will just enjoy looking at them. At their peak the colors of some fungi are no less spectacular than the loveliest wildflower.

Turkey tail.

Rosy Russula, Emily Traphagen Park.

Puffballs, (Donna).

Unidentified fungi family with lot’s of character, (Donna).

Shaggy Mane, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Dead Man’s Fingers, (Donna).

Wrinkled Peach Mushroom, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Close up.

An emergent shelf fungi competes with puffballs and fallen leaves for our attention.

A polypore shows off it’s gills.

Chicken Fungi

Bearded Tooth fungi, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Dryad’s Saddle, note the different stages of development in this cluster, (Donna).

Orange Mycena, (Donna).

.

A hint of autumn color along the Scioto River, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Tree roots and fallen leaves.

.

Despite our recent fungi fascination other things have been hard to ignore. A number if years ago it took a really spectacular insect to make an impression but as I’ve spent more time looking at them my appreciation has increased. With greater knowledge and understanding it has become much harder to consider them a lower life form less noble than ourselves. They have become part of the beautiful tapestry of life where boundaries between self and the natural world disappear.

Bee on Calico Asters, (Donna).

We had to wait until fairly late in the year to start seeing Common Checked Skippers, (Donna).

Common Green Darner, (Donna).

Yellow-collared Scape Moth is very similar to the Virginia Ctenucha but is slightly smaller, (Donna).

A bee enjoying the same flower gives an appreciation of the Eastern Tailed-Blue’s size, (Donna).

Chickweed Geometer, (Donna).

A beautiful but tiny Gray Hairstreak, (Donna).

Orange Sulfur

A not often seen Variegated Fritillary, (Donna).

Giant Swallowtail, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Eastern Comma

Meadow Fritillaries were very common at Griggs reservoir Park this year, (Donna).

.

A leaf is framed by reflections In a stream side pool.

****

Pausing at water’s edge, rippled reflections dance to the rhythm of wind and light gracing us with a new vision and an invitation to a new place.

Tree branches reflect on the water’s surface, Griggs Reservoir.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

August Rain and Mushrooms

Recently, after several wet days, we decided to take a drive to one of our favorite central Ohio hiking destinations, Clear Creek Metro Park. It’s a park that many frequent when they’re getting in shape for more exotic destinations like the Appalachian Tail or Rocky Mountain National Park. The tails are that challenging.  In our case it was more about seeing mushrooms that we wouldn’t find in parks closer to home, but a beautiful rugged trial lined with ferns that winds its way through old growth Hemlock and oak with a trailhead sign that says something like, “Caution, unimproved trail, proceed at your own risk”, is always a plus. Being located at the southern edge of the last glacier’s advance, on land that has for the most part never been disturbed by farming, logging, or other human activities, has a lot to do with the parks beauty. To optimize our chance of seeing mushrooms we decided to use the Creekside Meadows Trail to access the Fern/Hemlock trail loop. Certainly not the longest hike in the park but given our propensity to stop a look at things it made for a good day’s outing.

Park Trail Map

.

Just a short note about the cameras used during the hike. We consider ourselves nature lovers who enjoy capturing the beauty of what we see. Often our outings involve a canoe or long hikes over relatively rugged terrain. For this reason hauling a lot of equipment may not be possible or may take away from the experience of “being” in nature. Recently I’ve been experimenting with a Canon 80D Tamron 18-400 mm combo while my wife continues to rely on a Panasonic FZ200 superzoom for many of her insect and fungi shots. Overall I’m happy with the performance of the DSLR combo and it’s potential for more creative control. However, in the sunny day darkness of Clear Creek’s deep woods, with auto ISO limited to 3200, handheld shots were chancy at best and mostly disappointing. A tripod would have resolved the problem but toting it around as well as setting it up for most shots would have changed the flavor of the hike. On the other hand the FZ200 with its fast 2.8 lens, and auto ISO limited to 800, much more consistently provided usable pictures without the use of a tripod. Something that is good to know because while there is no right or wrong when it come to how we pursue photography it is important to ask yourself what it is you are trying to get from an experience before investing in equipment.

.

Chanterelles:

Yellow-footed Chanterelle

Chanterelle, (Donna).

Chanterelle, (Donna).

White Chanterelle

.

White Phlox

.

Shelf like mushrooms:

Turkeytail, (Donna).

Another look.

.

Fall Phlox

.

Boletes:

Shaggy-stalked Bolete, (Donna)

Shaggy-stalked Bolete another example.

Two-colored Bolete, (Donna).

King Bolete

Unidentified bolete.

Unidentified bolete

Russula, (Donna).

.

A small, yet to be identified, wildflower.

.

Other mushrooms:

Destroying Angel, not a good selection for the dinner table!

The fascinating underside of a free gill mushroom, (Donna).

Yellow Tuning Fork

Orange Mycena

Very large emerging free gill mushroom

Further along.

.   .   .  still further.

Unidentified small mushrooms.

Clustered Coral

An unidentified veiled mushroom.

Appears to be a more mature example of the above mushroom.

Unidentified veiled mushroom.

Very tiny unidentified mushrooms

.

Pinesap, a parasitic plant classified as a wildflower.

.

Along the Creekside Meadows Trail near the end of our day a hiking companion spotted this tiny Ring-necked Snake. The first one we’ve ever seen during our outings.

Ring-necked Snake, (Donna).

Another look, (Donna).

.

Finally, I must admit that we are on the steep part of the learning curve when it comes to mushrooms. Using the guides we have available a frustrating number remain unidentified.  Perhaps that is a good thing in the world of mushrooms because if you wrongly identify a mushroom it could be hazardous to your health!

.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Walk In The Smoky Mountains

Recently we got together with friends for a few days hiking in the Smoky Mountains near Ashville, North Carolina. Basecamp was the Sourwood Inn located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Many things of the seen are not unique to the area but put together they do paint a beautiful picture of one of the more interesting natural areas in the US. Our hikes were typically long, 6 – 10 miles, with a fair bit of climbing so camera equipment consisted of an Panasonic Fz200 and a Canon SX260.

.

On the Looking Glass trail.

IMG_1338use

Some of our group.

.

The mountains of North Carolina are a great place for fungi so it always gets quite a bit of our attention. Unfortunately, based on visual characteristics alone, it can be very hard to ID so we’re always open to corrections and clarifications.

IMG_1365use

A unidentified type of bolete.

IMG_1389

Turkey Tail

P1160377use

Old Man of The Woods, (Donna)

IMG_1347use

Bolete with a horizontal orientation which we had never seen before.

P1160483use

Pestle-shaped Coral, (Donna)

P1160472use

Shaggy-stalked Bolete, (Donna)

P1160467use

Shaggy-stalked Bolete, a little older.

P1160433use

Unidentified Mushroom

P1160393use

Firm Russula, (Donna)

P1160378use

Sharp-scaly Pholiota, (Donna)

P1050091use

Crowded Parchment

P1050084use

Sulfur Tuft, (Donna)

P1050078use

Unidentified emergent mushrooms

P1160571use

Tinder Polypore

P1050058use

Fungus and moss.

P1050038

Mushroom Family

IMG_1470use

Coral Fungus

IMG_1459use

Rag-veil Amanita emerging.

IMG_1464use

Rag-veil Amanita, too big to stand.

IMG_1462use

Another type of bolete.

IMG_1385use

Polypore on a fallen log.

IMG_1368use

Puffball family.

.

A view from the top during the Looking Glass hike.

IMG_1359

A great place to take a break before the trip down.

.

Where there’s fungus there’s moss and lichen.

P1050073use

Lichen and leaf abstract.

P1050065use

Lung Lichen

P1050059use

Lichen?

P1050055use

Hanging garden.

P1050052use

Old Man’s Beard

P1050050

Reindeer Lichen

P1050081use

Parasitic plants, Beechdrops (Epifagus americana) along the Snowball Trail.

.

The Mountain to Sea Trail is up and down with few long climbs.

IMG_1388a

Mountain to Sea Trail

.

Fascinating plants and flowers punctuated fungus and lichen sightings.

IMG_1337use

Partridge Berry

P1160504use

Aster

P1160416use

Snakeroot and Alanthus Webworm Moth, (Donna)

P1160539use

Foxglove?, (Donna)

P1160526use

Coral Root, (Donna)

IMG_1477

Indian Pipe

IMG_1457use

Late summer color

IMG_1450use

Small Blue Flowers

IMG_1444usex

Butterfly Weed

IMG_1441use

Lobelia?

IMG_1421use

Aster

IMG_1377use

Turtlehead

IMG_1371use

Berries and Color

IMG_1383use

Autumn Design

IMG_1387use

Aster

.

Some trails are easier than others.

P1160463use

Just kidding.

.

A few of our insect friends were also seen.

P1160431use

Mating, (Donna)

IMG_1455use

Red-spotted Purple

.

It never hurts to be aware of your surroundings when your head is close to the ground looking for mushrooms .   .   .

P1160509use

The first Black Bear we ever encountered on the trail, (Donna).

IMG_1416use

We zoom in, (Donna).

IMG_1420use

He’s curious, we’re curious.

P1160517use

That’s close enough!, (Donna)

IMG_1443use

The type of sign that most of us pay little attention to.

.

When not running away from bears there are also reptiles to be seen.

IMG_1445use

A Rat Snake checks us out.

P1160555use

Then decides to wander off, (Donna).

P1160549use

A skink plays hide and seek, (Donna)

.

The group at the trail head after a long hike.

IMG_1374use

Looking Glass trail head.

.

The NC mountains are a wonderful place just to be.

P1050096use

Sunrise from Sourwood Inn.

.

The area around Ashville, NC is a hiker and nature lovers mecca. There are an almost infinite number of trails of varying degrees of difficulty to choose from. You may even get to see a bear!

.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tom's Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog

Mindfulness, Philosophy, Spirituality, Meditation, Awareness, Religion, Nature Photography

Londonsenior

The life of an elderly Londoner and her travels.

Nature Is My Therapy

Trees help me breathe.

The Eye of a Thieving Magpie

My view of this wonderful and crazy life - as I travel and explore.

Diary of an Aesthete

Follow the Journey...

quercuscommunity

Life after the Care Farm

Out For 30

Exploring the world, 30 days at a time.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Photos by Donna

Birds and Wildlife Photography

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

Eloquent Images by Gary Hart

Insight, information, and inspiration for the inquisitive nature photographer

gordoneaglesham

The Wildlife in Nature

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Imagery of Light

Photography by Sheila Creighton

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

talainsphotographyblog

Nature photography