May rolled in with hot weather and high winds. Our fire danger was Extreme which is unheard of in our neck of the woods. The land of steep valleys and plentiful streams.
But it was true. Our stream banks were dry and the water levels were low. Mosses had turned brown and had gone dormant in the forest. I found two types of fungi in the woods. A Pheasant Back and one lone Morel.
Pheasant Back. I've heard from others that these are eatable. And since I am grew up hearing that all mushrooms would KILL you from my grandmother, the only one I am confident on in the wilds is the morel.
88 degrees with winds that howled and tossed branches around was a summary of May 1st.
We watched dust devils whirl about in the winter pasture. The interior of the house was at 65 degrees and felt cold when we went inside. I read on the porch most of the day. So the 1st was a bust.
I got up at dawn for some reason on Sunday and decided to go for a morning walk. The hot weather made the wild apple trees burst forth with blossoms. I decided to go for a walk up through the old meadow and woods to get Saturday's mail in the early light.
In spring I feel that need to be out every day and watch in wonder as trees that have been so barren and stark all winter burst forth with leaves and flowers or catkins. It is Fall in reverse.
I pulled out my books on trees and wildflowers and set them aside for when I got back from my walk with Charlie.
Knowing my trees is important while hunting morels. So after years of putting off learning about trees and ID'ing them from their bark, shapes, and leaves, I have decided to make another attempt at it. Maybe if I can figure out my trees, I can find morels faster? I don't know!
My husband said there were NO elms left because of Dutch Elm disease. Imagine my surprise when I ID'd this shot below. Classic elm tree shot, right? I think so! I've seen several of these in the woods. After the seeds drop though, the leaves look so similar to the Ironwood tree that litters our forest.
This one could be a slippery elm.
I know the neighbor on the ridge taps the 'Sugar' Maples but I'm not even sure if I can tell the difference in them until they fully develop leaves. As I said, I'm no expert but am curious to see if I can learn the difference.
Below is where I get all my apples. They are wild apple trees probably planted by the cattle that used to roam these woods and pastures or the birds? I even named this tree after my mule Opal. Opal Apples. This tree makes the best apple jelly of any of the wild trees. Opal used to rise up on her hind legs and pick apples.
It was a sight to see!
Charlie went with me in the afternoon ... but decided he'd had enough of tall grasses. He simply sat down eventually in the grass and refused to move.
He decided when we got home to take his place on his throne, also known as the porch bench and rule his world from a more comfortable place.
His underbite gets me all of the time. His expression is priceless.
I think this is his imitation of being 'The Godfather'.