Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Conclusion of my walk through an East Coast forest






Fallen trees provide a feast for fungi.

You never know what will wash up along this creek -- I've seen lawn chairs, road signs, even a plastic sword.

This, however, made my heart stop for a half-second or so ...




... until I realized it was just a doll.

This area is also awash in poison ivy, which didn't bother this little butterfly. I had to get down on my belly, dangerously close to the plants, to get this photo of him sitting on one of them.



After a few hundred feet more, we reach the western boundary of the woodland, where someone's boring lawn has taken the place of the diverse natural landscape that once flourished here.

Now we turn back to head into the deeper and wilder woods that is my favorite part of this journey. We hop over a small, muddy creeklet and up the hill again through a meadow created by the gas company, as they have a pipeline underneath it.

In this meadow, more poison ivy grows -- avoiding it is like picking your way through a minefield. But the abundant sunshine here encourages less hostile plants to grow, too, like this little flower.



This is the most challenging part of the hike, through a deep woods where it is very easy to lose track of where you are. I've tried laying limbs in patterns, to help create a path, but I still get off course every time and wander for a few minutes until I finally find this mysterious clearing where some kind of factory once stood. Slag heaps are piled up, grass pokes through old asphalt and young pines are at work to heal the scars, too. A box turtle lives in this wet lowland but I didn't see him today. Probably some cottonmouths are to be found here, too and I proceed with caution.





I tried quite hard to photograph a giant grasshopper that was hanging out in a pine tree, but the shot never came out quite right. I did capture this unidentified yellow flower, though.



I've been out here two hours and I need to go home. So I will wander semi-lost for a few minutes until I find the gas line cut again, cross through the poison ivy and reenter my back yard.

Overgrown tomatoes, a fig tree, asparagus and grapes are what you see there.

16 comments:

Braveheart ( Ela) said...

Thanks for the journey. I am signing for the next one, when ready. East coast looks beautiful. I think those mushrooms are edible.

Braveheart ( Ela) said...

They are call oyster mushrooms and I found a link.
http://www.naturallist.com/fungied3.htm

eastcoastdweller said...

Wow, Ela -- that would be cool if those are oyster mushrooms. I'll double check with some local experts just to be sure.

Braveheart ( Ela) said...

the wikipedia has a better picture, more close to the one you showed us.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Oyster_mushroom_log.jpg

there are no similar poisonous to the oyster mushroom, so it would be fairly safe to check them out and eat.

(I am a wild mushroom picker, not an expert though, just a few types I know from the childhood.)

Melanie said...

take a close up of the asparagus, I have never seen it growing!

lovely images. thanks for sharing your walk.

eastcoastdweller said...

Ela: I've talked to a couple people who are also sure that those are oyster mushrooms. I've bagged a few to carry to an expert tomorrow.

Melanie: Right now the asparagus is boring. It's just tall ferny stuff. Have to wait til spring for sprouts again.

Michelle said...

Very lovely pictures.

eastcoastdweller said...

Thank You, Michelle. But my title sucked. lol.

Carmen said...

You are great with the camera besides being a great writer, having a big heart, empowering women and others, a gardener, a visionary, and the list keeps going, LOL
I am so glad to count you as a great friend!
Love you, love you, love you ;-)

eastcoastdweller said...

Carmen:

Thank You for those thoughtful words. If You had seen how many blurry and off-center pictures I took and discarded that day, You might change Your opinion of my photographic skills!

Thank You for Your friendship. You are indeed a noble Lady.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I love the photos!! Thanks for sharing them.

...amarpreet said...

Love your pictures, but the one with the doll made my heart stop too and my negativity about the world is making me wonder why that doll is there...what happened to the little girl who had that doll...hope it was just a case of forgetfulness.

Sorry to bring down the mood here...

eastcoastdweller said...

Empress, it's nothing to worry about. That creek flows a long way through various suburbs and under a lot of roads before it gets to these woods.

And when it swells after rain, all kinds of stuff gets carried along and then dropped along the edges.

Like I said, I've seen chairs, traffic signs, bicycles and a whole lot of other detritus down there over the years.

...Kat said...

what wonderful woods you have.

the photographs are lovely!

and a peek of the upper surface of the blue butterfly which they so fervently guard from view :-)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for the tour of the forest. It looks beautiful.

eastcoastdweller said...

Claudia: You are welcome.

Kat: Thank You. Can You believe the incredible stupidity, arrogance and shortsightedness of declaring that area an "industrial zone?"

Yet, that's what it is.

Those butterflies are fast little fliers. And so tiny -- only as big as a US nickel.

LGS: It is a lovely place indeed, if one is careful of the poison ivy.