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Monday, August 31, 2015

Frost's Bolete, Confirmed

 
Mushrooms are funny things. The pretty part you see above the ground and take pictures of is just the fruiting body. The real heart of the organism is underground in the mycelium. It just bides its time until conditions are right and then it pops those interesting and colorful shapes through the ground, produces spores to reproduce, and then melts into a puddle of slime.

I don't recall ever seeing these mushrooms before. Certainly I've never taken their picture or tried to identify them. This year, they are everywhere in the forest. You may recall I tentatively identified them as Frost's Bolete.

Yesterday, I found dozens more of them in all stages of fruiting from little buds poking through the leaves to dark brown-red slimy messes of decay. But I did remember to look at the underside. Definitely non-gilled, and porous. Convex (bulging). Turning yellow at the edges.

Frost's Bolete

Then I did another test the field guide suggested. Break the surface and the flesh should turn blue almost immediately. Yup.

Frost's Bolete

Says it is common in oak woods. That was certainly true this year. Lots of oaks where we did the archaeology test holes, and at Cadillac Pathway where I saw them yesterday.

I think I'll remember this one. Wonder if I'll see another "bloom" of them in my lifetime.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Hikes

 
Sorry for missing a couple of days. I got lots of extra work hours Thursday and Friday night, and was just zonked out afterwards. Today I recovered and went exploring several trails in the Cadillac area. You'll be seeing more of my discoveries as the week goes on, I think. Today... just a sense of the trails I sampled.

At Mitchell State Park, there is a nature loop that is almost all through wetlands. There's a spur trail with observation platform that extends into the open center (filling with emergent plants). This was a different ecosystem than any of the other trails and had lots of diversity of plant life.

Mitchell State Park nature trail

Next, I checked out two paved trails very near downtown Cadillac. The Keith McKellop Walkway is paved, and does not even allow bicycles. So walkers can stroll for a little more than a mile without needing to watch out for faster users. It's right beside Lake Cadillac. I just liked the gulls coming in for a landing. The day was really lovely. Just a little hazy, but it sort of gave the picture texture.

gulls landing

Heading north from that is another paved trail called the Clam River Greenway. This trail was a community effort to reclaim some nasty real estate where the river had become little more than a drainage ditch. It's not a large river, and not hugely attractive, but walking beside water from downtown out to the area sports complex was pleasant.

Clam River

After these hikes I was seriously hungry, so I treated myself to a burger. Yum. Next I headed east from town to hike part of the Cadillac Pathway trail system. This is for hiking, cycling, and skiing in the winter. All natural surfaces. I hiked almost five miles of it. There's lots more. The ecoystem was our common dry, upland mixed hardwoods. Very pleasant, but mostly bracken, blueberry, wintergreen and partridge berry on the ground.

Cadillac Pathway

The day was winding down, but I really wanted to sample the MacKenzie Pathway, west of town. This is also a series of loops for hiking, cycling and skiing. This one is in the Manistee National Forest, while the previous one is part of the Pere Marquette State Forest. Interestingly enough this area was quite a bit wetter and richer than the Cadillac Pathway. This could be a good place to find wildflowers in the spring. I had just enough light left to do a quick mile in and then back out.

MacKenzie Pathway

Total miles hiked for the day, about eleven. Not bad at all. All these trails are in Wexford County.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Frost's Bolete

 
Let me continue to emphasize that I am NOT a mushroom expert. However, I think with the netted stalk and shiny dark red top, this is Frost's Bolete.

Frost's Bolete

Did I look at the underside to see if it has pores instead of gills? No. You'd think I would learn sometime.

But it is attractive. Edibility not recommended.

But I don't recall ever seeing this kind before, so something new is always good!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Where Are the Treats?!

 
Oh! Hello. It's a human we don't know. That's ok, maybe it has treats.

goats

How about treats for my brother?

goats

Treats for my cute little sister?

goats

What do you mean, you didn't bring any?

goats

I'm serious, strange human, WHERE ARE THE TREATS?

goats


See A Goat of Every Color
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

All that's Missing...

 
I drive by this wetland really often. It's right on the main road. But there is one thing missing.

wetland

It looks to me like perfect habitat for a... moose. But we don't have any here, sad to say.


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