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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Joy Boulevard

 

Yup. It's real.

Joy Boulevard

That said, none of these pictures is of that exact road. But you know these kinds of roads always bring me joy. However, they do have their own names. First is Astor Road, taken in July.

Astor Rd.

Then Deerpath, in August. It's almost like they designed it to be picture perfect.

Deerpath Rd.

And finally, Winter Road, not quite October, on the last day of September. This is the road that took me past yesterday's lovely lake.

Winter Road

These were all new to me (at least the particular piece I pictured). I guess I am something of a new-experience junkie. Any day that has a new dirt road, or a new plant, or whatever, is a fun day!

Most of the roads here are the straight-cut, quarter-section lines laid out when the Northwest Territory was surveyed. But some escaped those boring surveyors!

See Lone Elk Road
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pebawma Lake

 

Out working today and I had to get between two places that don't connect very well, so I got to see some new back roads! Discovered a small lake I'd never seen before, or even heard of, Pebawma Lake. A little creek drains out of it that joins Beaver Creek, and wanders across three counties before circling back to eventually empty into the Pere Marquette River. I thought I was going to show you back roads, but this lake was too charming. Here are the best pictures. Just enjoy. The place sure made my day!

Pebawma Lake

Pebawma Lake

Pebawma Lake

Pebawma Lake

Pebawma Lake

Pebawma Lake

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Pretty, Pretty Horrible

 
Today I bring you what is considered by some people to be the most invasive plant in the world. It's the beautiful and deadly (to other plants) Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica.

Japanese knotweed

I call it the "Kudzu of the North," because it has the capacity to choke out and kill all other plants, the way the kudzu vine has done so in parts of the South. You've probably seen great banks of these shrubs growing beside the road or along streams. Some places are finally making a serious effort to control it.

Of course, it's really pretty with dainty white blossoms.

Japanese knotweed

The flowers must be sweet. There were hundreds of bees and flies sipping from the flowers. I don't know what kind of fly this is.

Japanese knotweed

Supposedly the very young shoots are edible, but I haven't caught any at the right stage to try them.

See Mile-A-Minute
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Perhaps Blewit

 
Not feeling very imaginative, and anyway, you already knew that I'd want to dissect this and figure out what it is.

blewit

You can see that it is a blue/purple mushroom. You'd think that would be quite distinctive, but it turns out there are several choices. I'm no mushroom expert by a long shot, and it always seems to me that mushrooms are much harder than plants. They seem to change form at every stage of the game, with many more variations and exceptions to the "norm."

I do know a couple of blue/purple mushrooms it is NOT. It's not the Blue Spine that I showed you in 2010, or the Violet Toothed Polypore

I think I've got those ones down pat, and they are both toothed, so they are completely eliminated for this one which is gilled.

blewit

This one has a fat stalk, which pretty much eliminates a couple of others. It's not sticky which is a characteristic of a different one. This has purple gills which the Blewit has, but it's supposed to also have a purple stem; this one is white. It does not have a central dimple on the cap, but it does have streaks of yellowish-brown, so that says Blewit.

I brought a small one home, and forgot to cut it in half right away, so it had dried somewhat. But this gives me two more pieces of information. First, the stem is solid rather than hollow. It also shows how the gills are attached to the stem. The ones on the bottom in the picture broke when I cut it, but you can see how the ones on the top seem to sweep down into the stem. That is also correct for the Blewit.

blewit

So, I'm going with Clitocybe nuda, the Blewit. The name is some old world language iteration of "blue cap." It's supposed to be highly sought after as a food. I think I'd want an expert opinion of my ID before I tried them!

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fun-R-Us and Fungus

 
Today was our monthly hike, and it was our event for North Country National Scenic Trail Day. Twelve of us got together for a hike and a picnic.

hikers

Don't know how far we walked- we just went outbound till we'd had half enough and then turned around. The hike was on the North Country Trail.

Somehow, food magically appeared from everywhere (it was a potluck), and we ate wonderful things like veggie pizza, fresh fruit, little hors d'oeuvre, ham sandwiches, homemade tomato/basil/garlic salsa stuff with toast squares, and chocolate.

picnic

Most of the oohs and aahs of the day were over small mushroom/fungus finds. I like to identify them, but I know rainfield will tell us their magical stories.

This is the very poisonous yellow patches, Amanita flavorubescens

yellow patches

This is white coral jelly, Tremella reticulata, I'm pretty sure. Although it looks more like crowned clavaria, it's really related to the witches' butter. I think those very blunt tips of the "fingers" are the key to the ID.

white coral jelly

We also saw some purple mushrooms, that will remain a mystery for now. Maybe another day!

See Nordhouse
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