Sunday, July 31, 2011

Small miracles

I'm sure you recall me discussing Opal, the impossible to catch mule.
If she is in a paddock, she will trot away from you and even if she is tied out on a ring for grazing, she will walk away to the end of her rope.

She will run like the dickens if she has an open meadow, and thinks you are coming for her...
She will hide in berry briers and play hard to get...

Once caught and saddled though, she is a awesome mule.
Although she did hate to have her face touched or her ears touched...was picky about who picked up her feet or saddled her.

With all of her 'holes' she is still a fabulous ride.
When it was evident that I could no longer ride Badger I started a campaign with Opal, the mule that could never change.

I kept her in a sandy pen, isolated from the other animals.
Each day I caught her and groomed her.
Each day I picked up her feet.
After about 6 weeks, she stopped running from me when I approached with the lead rope.

I also used a 'cheater'. I found that she liked 'horse cookies'.
I'd found a secret weapon.
I'd let her smell it in my hand and then I'd drop it and walk away. She'd eat it up and then follow to see if I had more.
I did not bring a treat each time, so she never knew when to expect one.
But at least she was now beginning to walk up to me when I came into the paddock.

The heat wave came.
We moved her to a larger shaded area with Badger as company.
The first day she was stand offish.
After a week, I could walk up to her and scratch her neck. This area was bigger, and she'd try to stand behind Badger.
So I began to catch her and groom her again, along with Badger of course.

That area became barren, and we had to turn them out in the Donkey Meadow.

I was sure that everything that had been accomplished would be 'out the window' now. Opal had a good 10 acres to roam and run in.

Last night at dusk I went out to check on Badger.
Opal was the last animal to come up. She was sly and circled me, curious. I tossed a green apple out for her to munch on.
She ate it and then followed the donkeys back out into the meadow.

This morning I came 'armed' with my secret weapon.

Opal was up with Badger, Eddie, and Sundance, near the water tank. They had made their own small 'herd' separate from the jennets.

I stood for a bit hands loose at my sides.
Opal came near.
I handed Badger a cookie.
Opal's ears flicked.
I tossed a cookie at her feet and then stepped back.

She ate it, then pushed Badger aside.
I reached out and rubbed her forehead.
I reached out and scratched her neck and withers. I ran my hand along her neck and rubbed her ears.

She stood quietly.
This in itself is a miracle of sorts.

I turned and walked away.
She followed me to the fence.

I hid a grin on my face.
I had hoped that I'd now found a secret to Opal's heart.
I felt something profound and deep...
and satisfying...
as a tears of joy and sorrow ran down my face.

I'd found Opal's heart.

Yet I was still losing the battle for Badger's life.

Irony or miracle?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Am I Coming or Going?

So when you think you have run out of things to do, you can always set up a 'fun shot' using a tripod and any old camera that has a 10 second delay.

Mark a spot so that you can find it before the shutter goes off, and take some photos of yourself rapidly [so the sunlight doesn't change on you and screw up the exposure].

Put all of your shots into some form of editing program. I used Photoshop 7.0.
I stacked the photos and used Topaz ReMask 3.2 to cut myself out of the stacked photos.

I just did a quick edit:
I used the blue brush to quickly outline myself.

Then hit looked good so I clicked on 'OK' and I was isolated from the background.
I did that for 2 of the poses and then had my 'multiple exposure' shot.
Quick and simple, looks like magic, but it isn't.

The bonus was the shot with Morris standing there. It was not planned as I cannot really figure out what this dog has on his mind.
I think it just added to the fun of the over all shot.

Now that I've tried this, I might be ready to try a more interesting type of 'collage'!

Written also for Press the Shutter, A Photography Forum and posted under the Image Editing Section for discussion.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Heaven on Earth

Yesterday I took a walk between storm fronts. The morning rain accompanied by fierce lightening had brought over an inch of rainfall.
So I decided to shoulder my backpack filled with plastic bags to protect my cameras and head through the neighbor's pasture down towards the creek.

I followed a cow path that had rain beaten evidence that cattle had moved through recently. No cow chip throwing today, it was rain soaked cow mush-pie.
I suppose I grinned when I thought of that.
Tossing mushy cow pies would be fun when you were 10 years old.
In fact, I recall my cousins using little fire crackers to blow up juicy cow pies...
ohhh, but that is another story entirely.

I first heard the sounds of water tumbling down.

The water was deeper than usual and muddy.
The moss was enchanting.
The trees dripped water droplets and rustled.
A pine warbler sang a sweet song, and the water eased my soul.

Heaven on earth in my own 'backyard'.

How could I be so lucky to have my own place of 'Zen' within a few minutes hike.

I sat down at this place and felt the dampness of the rain on the moss soak through my pants.
It didn't bother me.
I placed my tripod in the creek's brown muddy water and began to 'shoot'.

If it hadn't started raining again, and I hadn't had a watch?

Would I have wanted to come back?
Heck no.

The creek holds secrets, the creek bottom is a place to sit and think, if so inclined.
By simply observing the creek, you learn life's important lessons.

You learn to relax.

You learn to simply be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making a Hot Rod Skid Steer

Let me say that this was taken with a very cheep - cheap - cheap - 'fugly' pink point and shoot camera.

Just an ordinary shot of an ordinary skid steer with a rather ugly backround.

So I used Topaz ReMask to pull out the skid steer and used Topaz Adjust to jazz it up a bit, along with some color adjustments in Photoshop 7.0.

Here is the original:
So I selected part of the clouds from this storm shot and then layered it over the 'cut out' skid steer.

I used Overlay as the layer type and it looked like smoke!

I used a second layer of the clouds and put it in front of the cut out skid steer and moved it around a reduced its opacity ...
One pretty crappy photo turned into fun...


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thistle Thistle How Pretty Are You?

I plan on doing some shots of some not so very well liked wild flowers.

This is one of them.
Really quite a beauty isn't it?

[Added text and layering along with multiple frames.]

I promise, more after I get to wander in the woods!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Make Rays of Light~Photo Editing

First let me start off with the original photo as taken:
As you can see the original has a ray of light in it...but I wanted more.

Camera Olympus E-420
Exposure 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture f/6.3
Focal Length 42 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias -0.7 EV

Then edit slightly in Photoshop 7.0 to bring out some color and jazz it up a bit:

Next use 'Control J' to make a copy of this layer.
Go to Image--->Adjust--->Levels---->and drag the slider to the right.
Take the Levels layer and go to--->Filters--->Blur--->Radial Blur--->
Amount: 100
Blur Method: Zoom
Quality: Best
Hit 'Control F', it will process. Get the 'blur' you want, you can 'Control F' more than once for a smoother 'blur'.

This is what I choose:
Arrange this layer in the middle and take the opacity of the top layer down a bit to your taste.
You can go wild with it, or be subtle.
I chose to be subtle about 46%.

The final edited shot is almost believable.

Made for Press the Shutter.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What can I say?

He smiles the most when he is using machinery!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Warning from the NOAA ~ Excessive Heat

Heat index, hot.
Air humid.
Temperatures at night 'record breaking' for our part of Wisconsin.


On our farm, I've been giving the hound dogs sponge baths and making sure they have shade and cool water every couple of hours.

The equine and the cattle have shade, but I was just out filling stock tanks and watched the molly mules and the mares standing next to shade ... in the open meadow ... and sleeping.
They were lined up head to tail.
The tail of the first animal lazily swept the flies of the one standing next to them.

Badger is paired up with Opal in a special shaded lot near the top of the ridge. A breeze is blowing and they both seem unconcerned. Badger is showing some heat stress, so I gave him a sponge bath to cool him down.

Doing any hard labor brings on buckets of sweat. Just moving hoses and a few stock tanks left me soaked.
As I stood with Opal and Badger though, a sultry breeze came through the shaded area and I was cooled somewhat.

Open areas and a shaded canopy are some of the ways these animals keep themselves cooled.
The herd often visits the mineral salt blocks and this keep their electrolytes up. It also encourages the drinking of water.

The NOAA site says this oppressive heat wave will continue through mid-week. This means extra vigilance on my part as an animal owner.
I gladly accept the responsibility.

Damn it is hot. Heat index or not.
Hot is just...HOT.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Night Riding

Fred looked over at Opal.

They were tied up and being saddled as the two women talked quietly and moved around them.
*Opal, you nuts?* said Fred, *You let her catch you? You gone mule-senile or something?*

Opal of course had a reputation for being very difficult to catch. It had been said that you couldn't even catch her in a 'box stall'.

Opal peered up into the trees and then shook some flies off her head, flopping her ears.
*No, I'm not nuts or senile. I happen to like Her. She visits with me every day and brushes me or just rubs her hands all over me. I hate to say it, but it is kinda nice.
She never raises her voice or gets angry. Even the times when I am being a real challenge. Nope, not a peep, she just persists.*

That was a very long speech for Opal. So she shut up and watched Val move around her adjusting the front and back cinch, checking the crupper, and breast-collar.
Val moved over to Fred and did the same, getting Fred ready for her friend to ride.

Opal didn't even throw her head around when Val bridled her. For that Val simply told Opal what a 'sweet heart' she was and gently rubbed her neck.
Fred snorted.
*Sweet heart? Give me a break!*
Opal glared at him.

Val and her friend mounted up. Friend rode Fred and Val rode Opal. They had decided to not ride in the heat of the day but ride instead at dusk and into the night which was settling over the ridge. Fred kept darting to the side and trying to grab a bite as they walked.

Fred said between mouthfuls of grass, *Boy those women sure are yacky. You suppose they are talking about important things?*
He snorted.
*Females, I just don't get 'em.*

Opal was also tempted by the tall grass and bent her head and grabbed as she walked. *I like their chatter, Fred,* she said around her mouthful, *I find it quite comforting. Better than when the Muleman rides us and calls us 'Dammit' all the time.

Fred nodded as his ears flopped forward and back.
*Okay, you do have a point there.*

Deep down into the valley they rode with their human riders. The air was warm and sultry ... a dense fog hovered over the creek.

Fred recognized a trail ahead and began to walk out hard and fast. His rider, Val's friend was a bit concerned and called out to Val.
"Oh no, where is he going?"
Val just laughed at the sight of her friend winding her way down an old mule/deer path that had summer weeds higher than both mule and rider. The weeds whipped back and forth.
"You'll be okay," Val said to Friend. "Just stop him on the other side of those trees."

Opal caught up to Fred and the two women laughed and joked. Opal gave Fred 'the eye'.
*That was mean, Fred, * she said.
*Mule Trick, * was all that Fred said.

The women turned around and headed through the mist and back up the valley road. At one point Val stopped Opal and pointed around and down through the trees.
"Look at the heavy air, look at the fireflies dancing! It nearly looks like a surreal medieval forest doesn't it?"
The women watched the fireflies for a few minutes in the darkness and then rode towards home.

Friend said to Val that she didn't believe she'd ever ridden in the dark like this before. Val reached down and patted Opal on the neck, telling Friend that it was fun to ride on well marked trails in the dark. Besides, it sure did beat the heat of the sun!

Opal smiled a mule smile and winked at Fred.
*She likes me,* she told Fred.

*Hurrumph,* replied Fred. *Everyone likes me but you don't see me making a big deal about it.*

*True enough,* Opal replied. *But I don't trust people in general. I dislike them. This is a new feeling for me to have. It is sort of nice.*

The two women chatted as they unsaddled the two mules and put away the tack. Their voices were musical in the night and both mules relaxed while waiting to be put back in their pastures.

*I hope Friend comes again,* Fred said quietly, *it has been a long time since I pulled some good 'mule tricks' on anyone. She was a good sport about it.*

Opal let Val lead her back into her paddock. Val rubbed Opal's neck and up between the ears. And to both Opal and Val's surprise, Opal leaned into Val when Val put her arms around Opal's neck and gave her a human hug.
"Good night Opal," Val said, letting her loose.

Opal stood and watched the human walk away. She ate her hay and watched the fireflies dance in the darkness. She thought of the human with the nice voice and the nice touch.

She would indeed look forward to another night ride.

Hot Day, Misty Creek

Morris and I headed out to check the electric fence in the woods and to make sure the line along the top of the creek bottom was still intact and had not been knocked down by roaming deer.

After an inch of rainfall the night before and the promise of 90+ degree weather for the coming days, I felt that I should do this hike while the temperatures were still in the 80's.

To my surprise, when I got to the bottom of the hill road, there was a fog, or mist, hanging above the creek bottom.

I guess I should have expected it. The creek is spring fed and therefore fairly cold. The difference between the air above the creek and at the creek was at least 10 degrees different.

The exception was there was no breeze to move the fog above the it hung eerily.
It also added a bit of surreal quality to the forest. Everything was hushed, except for the noise of the water running over the rocks.

The intense green of the leaves and the mossy rocks just added to the atmosphere.
Several times I lost sight of Morris as he walked along the rocky bottom.

We did however find some wonderful juicy ripe black cap raspberries to eat.

We checked the fences, then headed back up towards the ridge.

The sun broke through the cloud cover and burned down on us. A blue haze covered the ridge.

I sighed and looked back down towards the creek. What a wonderful and exotic little escape we'd had while checking fences.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Does this Saddle make my Butt look Big???


I know, that line caught you didn't it?
Admit it!

Sunshine not much like her mom, Cheyanne. I was convinced that Cheyanne was the most conceited horse I ever came across.
I swear, she did not want to go out on a ride unless she looked her best.

She adored grooming and any time she could have her mane and tail braided. She seemed to prance more lightly if she had been 'gussied' up.

Sunshine on the other hand is more, well...

She really could give a ...rat's ... well you know.

So I saddle up with my handmade custom saddle. [Not fancy mind you...very plain Jane, but made for my derriere and no one else's. Also made on a Mule-tree...meaning made for a mule's back.]

Sunshine looks over her shoulder as if to say. Sweet saddle.
I use the black saddle pad. Her mom preferred the black one, it had a 'slimming' effect on her mid-line.

Sunshine is typically unconcerned.
She is a mule that is about business.

She is more concerned about how she can get from point 'A' to 'B' in the most efficient manner.

I think Sunshine should talk with Opal. Opal hates people but likes to be 'gussied' up and step out.

How do I know these things?
Well jeeze, hang out with a mule and you would learn too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Long ago and another time.

It was barely dawn.
My barefeet were stuck into an old pair of canvas tennis shoes to protect them.

We walked with our lard buckets gleaming silver in the semi darkness. Dew quickly soaked through our shoes.

We wore bandanas over our heads, long sleeved shirts, and long pants to protect us some from the wild berry briers we would be wandering through on our berry picking 'mission'.

We were pretty quiet as Grandma was not a big conversationalist and of course, we were on a picking mission.
Get the berries picked early in the morning before the July heat bore down upon us.

We arrived at the berry patch.
A wild place deep in the woods.
We silently began to pick.
I know I'd eat just about as many as those that would find their way into my lard bucket that was slung around my small shoulders and neck with a piece of twine.
I remember smelling the twine and thinking what an 'icky' smell it had to it.

My feet and pants were soaked with dew, my hands got scratched while reaching up the berry canes to grab at the dark black ripe berries.

I secretly wondered if I'd picked the all unripe ones, would we have to come back again tomorrow?

Of course we experimented like that as kids, but the berries always seemed plentiful again in a day or so.

When the lard buckets were full, we could walk back towards home.
So there was an incentive to pick as fast as you could.

This morning we were picking away and I looked up at Grandma.
Her faded red bandana was nodding at us.
I glanced at her and she put a finger to her lips and nodded to our right.

She then motioned for us to follow and we did without question.

I was perplexed as my lard bucket was not full and I knew that no one else's was either.

Grandma told us in a quiet voice as we walked down the gravel road towards home that today

...she thought it would be a good idea to let the bear have the berries.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Storm Chase

This is the storm that I 'chased' the other day coming home from work in the morning.

I really didn't chase it.
It was a narrow band of bad lightening and heavy rain that hit as I left work.

This storm stuck with me for 30 miles following the very same path that I was driving.
At times lightening bolts that burst into fire balls struck on the side of the road.

Yeah, okay.
I nearly pulled over and checked my pants.
I was sure that the streets would be flooded when I got to town. But as I drove through town and headed towards home, I realized that I was traveling with the front.

As I neared our gravel road I drove out of the driving rain and saw the front.
I pulled over and took a shot before racing the rain that I could see in my rearview mirror.

Wicked Cool.

Shoot with a point and shoot pocket camera.
Always carry one, you never know what may come up.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Badger new update.

Friday has come and gone.

Badger is still with us.
He is on some high doses of Dexamethasone.

His respirations hover around 54 and heart rate has slowed to the high 30's.

I'm having a hard time letting go. With this higher dose, he actually acts a bit perky and has eaten.
I know the end result though and he cannot continue on this high dosage.

We haven't found the proper spot for him though. Sounds silly doesn't it?
The vet, my husband, and everyone agrees that it is kinder to let Badger go than to let him go on losing condition and weight and eventually drown from fluids in his lungs.

All of us recall the Badger as the fabulous mule in the photo above.
The mule that would take grand babies willingly anywhere.

Not the haggard skinny rough coated mule that is in the pasture in front of the house.

He isn't gone yet.
I'm...we...are having a hard time with this decision and it is not taken lightly. My last update on Badger will be when he does cross the Rainbow Bridge.

In the mean time. There is a job to work, fences to make, and fences to mend.
And all through it, I think of my wonderful beautiful bay mule friend who has always been there for me.

I will be there for him.

Friday, July 08, 2011

RIP Miss Chicken

I walked out this morning to do my chores and something was terribly amiss.

No scolding or clucking from Chicken [or Miss Chicken] as we called her.
Silence from the place in the old skid steer where she had been hiding out for the past few days ... having gone...

The dog food container was tossed on its side.
I had a bad feeling.

I called out to her.

This was unusual for normally Chicken would meet me coming out of the house, scolding me for being late.
She had been known to peck on the back door when she felt we'd not come outside soon enough.

One time she got on the picnic table and flew into the screen window behind hubby [who nearly spewed all of his morning coffee from surprise].

To put it simply, Chicken was a nag.
She followed you while you did chores, making either scolding noises or talking in some sort of chicken language that we never understood.

No Chicken.
She didn't answer.

Chicken also had a habit of holding my dog Morris at bay. She'd stand in front of him all puffed up and cackle at him. He'd run to the house to get away from her.

Chicken was absolutely some of the most great entertainment we'd ever had on the farm. And she supplied us with an egg per day.

I began to look around in the dirt and spotted a black feather up the lane towards the meadow.

I spotted another black feather.
[Am I allowed to say that on my own blog? Okay, well I did it anyway.]

I followed the trails of feathers as my heart sunk.
There was evidence of Chicken being dragged through the dirt.

And then I found her, or what was left of her.

I miss Chicken already.
When I fed the hounds, she wasn't behind me scolding me and then helping herself to the hounds' breakfast.
The dogs never cared.
They didn't mind her pecking away at their dog food, or drinking water out of their dishes.

R.I.P Chicken

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

My Ah Hah Moment with Sunshine

There we were, Sunshine and I at the turn around point in our ‘Mule Parade’, when it hit me.

Sunshine was standing quietly looking down the road. I was sitting comfortably on her back feet hanging loosely in the stirrups.
Badger’s condition from Equine COPD has turned fairly critical. He is rapidly loosing weight and condition. I’m watching him fade away before my eyes.

I had been working with Opal of course and had been enjoying her attitude and working with her general dislike of people.
Of course 3 weeks ago part of her outer hoof wall came apart at a small crack.
She was going to need shoes if possible and there probably would be no riding of her until the hoof had grown out.
I’d turned to Siera.
She is a fine young mule, beautiful and elegant, but not confident in herself yet.

So in the morning I asked my husband if it was okay to grab Fred and take him on my annual July 4th ride.
He glanced at me and asked:
*So what about Sunshine?*

Indeed, what about her?
Hadn’t I started her under saddle?
Why had I not thought about her before?
I mean, I’ve ridden her many times, and she is a good little red molly mule.
Was it her small size?
Was it because she was not tall and fancy?

She’d been the second mule born on our place.
She was out of my old Arab-Quarter Cross mare, Cheyanne.
We’d sold her once on ‘time’ and took her back when the person who bought her never paid us [though she’d never left our property during that time].

We decided then to keep her and turn her into a kid mule after our first grand child had been born.
In fact as Sunshine grew she became what we joked as the 50 gallon barrel on legs.
But when people met us while we were riding her, they tried to buy her from us.
Why didn’t I see it?

I had been blind to her.
The moment hit me proverbially between the damned eyes. Here was the mule I’d been searching for to take up Badger’s duties. Right under my nose.
This is the mule that my girlfriend had pointed to one day when she was over and gasped ~~ *My gosh, that little brilliant red mule is absolutely gorgeous!*
I had shrugged at the time and said, *Oh no, she’s just a little red mule.*

When I got home my husband came out and asked how our ride went.
I dropped my arm over Sunshine’s neck and told him how good she was.

How wonderful it was to ride a mule that didn’t care about that she was going somewhere alone, like Badger had always done.
One who was sensible and calm.

He laughed.
*Why she’s always been that way with you. Don’t you recall who’s lap she’d been born in?*

It was true.
Sunshine had literally been born in my lap.
Cheyanne had gotten too tired to push Sunshine out all of the way.
I’d pulled Sunshine onto my lap and had gently eased the birth sack off her eyes and nose.
I’d kissed the sloppy wet nose.
For the next 20 minutes, I’d had to convince Sunshine that Cheyanne was her mother and not me.

While I will agree that this little mule has her ‘moments’ as any animal will, she had just been idling her time to shine for me.

I hope that no one things that this is an insensitive post after yesterday's post regarding Badger.

Life is hard and filled with difficult decisions. Because Badger is ill, it does not mean that I stop riding. I only have to stop riding him and sharing our precious moments and adventures together.
I've learned the hardest lesson of all, we can out live our fondest animals.
The fact that I am finding some pleasure and sense of well being with Sunshine is part of the healing process that is occurring over the future loss of my beloved Badger.
I hope you understand and celebrate with me a new adventure.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Badger ~ Equine COPD~ Update

The final stages are occurring, the ones you won't see posted on the internet or any vet site.

His lungs are filling with fluid and mucus.
He has essentially stopped eating.


Heart Rate:

Lung noises, gurgling and raspy.
Thick mucus is beginning to appear quite often as he coughs.
No interest in others around him or even me when I check him.

I'm arranging a humane way to put him down.

For those who may have an equine in this condition, I'm writing this with a sad heart, but I also feel that it is my way to help others who may want to know what the 'end game' looks like.

It hurts to see and watch this.
I can't help him and I feel useless.

I'm hoping to make the arrangements by this Friday if not sooner.

I'm sorry for those who have followed Badger's and my many adventures for the past 16 years together.
Soon Badger will be out of pain and will cross the Rainbow Bridge to join Cheyanne.

Monday, July 04, 2011

5th Annual 4th of July Parade in Folsom

Each year I have done a 1 or 2 All Mule 4th of July Parade.
This year my second rider was not here to accompany me.
Badger is in ill health.
I had to work late in the day.

So I considered 'canceling' the Event.

Then I thought, what better way to Honor Badger's absence by riding his little half sister?

What better way to Honor Cheyanne's memory [I lost her this April due to age related illness] than to ride her daughter?

For this, Sunshine had to earn the right to wear the sequin laced blanket. So for this 4th of July single mule parade, we went with just a bell necklace and a Flag Bow on her tail.

To earn the right to wear the sequin blanket, the mule must be calm, relaxed, and show that he/she can ride down the back country road with bravery and 'mule wisdom'.

Along our route we encountered one truck with a neighbor in it, he waved. I waved back.
Good girl Sunshine.

We encountered two dogs. Sunshine simply eyed them carefully.
We met two of the new neighbors. The wife came out on the road and walked up to Sunshine and began to rub her face.

This is Mule Wisdom, and friendliness.
At one point Sunshine spotted a 'mule eating pile of dead grass and dirt' in the ditch. Despite her knowledge that this could eat her alive, she blew air at it and approached it carefully to investigate.
She decided that it was no danger to herself nor to her rider.

I call that Mule Bravery and Smarts.

We ended our parade by sitting near the edge of the forest and watching a doe and her fawn cross the field to our east.

She is a little mule with a big heart. She has the smarts from her Daddy and some of Mom's attitude.
She did her job today with all that it required of an excellent mount.

She earned the right to carry the sequined American Flag blanket in her next Parade.

The little red mule that could...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hidden Beauty Underfoot

You know there are not only wildflowers that are things of beauty that grow in the woods.

There is the secret world of fungi.
I used to say Mushrooms, but fungi covers most of what I do find.

But apparently Fungi is the more proper term.
I don't know what all I do find, but I think there is a 'project' in the future for a photo book on fungi.

There are some useful sites for Identifying the Fungus Among Us.

Amazing Fungi

Tom Volk's Site, he is right here in LaCrosse Wisconsin.
He has an interesting article on White Nose Syndrome which is regarding the large die out of bats in the Northeastern United States.

Whoops, got a bit sidetracked there!

So if you are taking a walk in the woods or 'round about in your yard, take a closer look at the little things.
Sometimes they are ugly, sometimes beautiful.

The lovely world of fungi.

All shots were done with a point and shoot pocket camera.