Monday, July 19, 2010

rush of summer

Okay, wanting to post stuff on the day that I observe it obviously isn't working, because the result more often than not is that I don't post at all, and in the middle of summer when there is so much happening--even if I'm not getting out enough to see it all--I really don't want to go back and post date entry after entry. So from here on out I officially switch to slapdash summaries and catch-as-catch-can posting.

In Lester and Hartley this past week there was fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata) blooming everywhere, which, despite the scary L-word is not evil like purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), which it isn't even closely related to, but is instead a delightful native wildflower of moist, shady areas. Also blooming now is Joe Pye, Indian pipe, vervain, and jewelweed. This photo of Indian pipe was taken on the forest floor around 8:30 p.m. on an overcast day when we were doing one more frog survey in Hartley for the summer (nothing - nothing! - except one out-of-season wood frog). Any other flower picture from that time and place would have been unpostably dark and blurry, but Indian pipe seems to give off its own light.

There are also right now berries everywhere. Wild raspberries and dwarf raspberries are at peak, and there may be a few late strawberries hanging around yet. I've heard lots of talk of blueberries, but haven't been able to get out to my blueberry spots yet. Serviceberries are just starting, but depending on the species and the locale, they could be producing until the end of August. Baneberries are also ripe, but you can probably guess from the name that they are less-than-edible. Also in the do-not-eat category are lots of amanita mushrooms, which look very cheerful with their pretty red caps with white dots, but which are also potentially very, very deadly.

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