Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Creek Inspector

Here is a shot of Saturday morning's rain gauge. It rained hard off and on between 1 AM and about 3 AM. Lightening flashed non stop as did the thunder. I laid on the couch and was alerted by my weather app that there was a tornado watch, a flash flood watch, a flood warning, and a severe thunderstorm warning.
Also there was a lot of lightening strikes.

Well, I just laid there and watched the show out the south windows with the Quiver Dog who shook everytime there was a boom. He watched too. I guess Charlie was curious about the lightening.

He twice asked to go out and twice turned around and decided to cross his legs and wait until the storm stopped.

I finally slept and woke up to silence and dense fog enshrouding our hollow. As things lightened up, I pulled on the muck boots and decided to go check on how the critters faired over night. 
Lil' Richard was standing in the driveway. He did have shelter from the storm under the front of the 5th wheel flat bed. But he had been busy rolling in the gravel to do his morning ritual of grooming.

The mules were walking around eating various weeds and grazing for the short grass. They too, had covered themselves with mud. It is one of nature's finest bug repellant and apparently it feels good.

I headed towards the creek checking to make sure no more tree tops had fallen onto fence lines. As soon as I stepped into the forest, the skeeters made their appearance and I pulled on the head net. I stopped half way down the trail and listened.

The summer birds were gone. No calls from the Orioles, Catbird, Wrens, and the Bluebirds. I heard a stray Robin. But the forest was a song of crickets and water dripping. I could actually hear water running in the creek which would be a first this year.

The shot on the right shows the creek bottom on August 8th and the left one was Aug 28th. The tiny arrows point to the same rock ... sorry that the shots are not perfect as far as being exactly the same.

The there is me. I set my little pocket camera on a rock and hit the self timer.
If you look closely it may be apparent as to how wide and high the furious waters ran. It moved boulders and logs.
Never underestimate the power of water!

In places where things got jammed up and then let go the clearing of the plants is more evident.

The kids had built a rock castle out of some rather heavy rocks here. It got washed away and the rocks placed somewhere else.

I am glad the creek was cleaned out like this it sure makes rock hunting more fun and spending time listening to the water is like hearing music.

Our temperatures at least have made a turn around. It was beastly hot and humid on Saturday, but thing have settled down this week. 

I can't wait to get back down into the creek and spend some time just mucking about now that the temperatures have become a bit more livable.

Charlie can accompany me then as he can travel without getting stuck in the weeds.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Stills ~ Black and white


Miss H202

My early Sunday morning walk.

Dead end. But what a great view when it opens up on the other side of darkness.

This is my first try and a Sunday Stills challenge.

See more here: Sunday Stills

Photos shot in the early morning with an infrared camera. With an 850nm filter which only will shoot in black and white.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Fungi Fun Guy!

Well I think these are Boletes that look like they have seen better days. 

I found these not far from an old tall oak in our forest that has a racoon den in its top.

Remember the ones I said were Wolf Farts? These are the same ones a few days later.

So I think some fungi are only beautiful when they are just coming out of the ground. 

I thought I'd found Turkey Fan Fungi. But no I didn't!
The Scientific name I believe is: Daedaleopsis confragosa. 
Try to say that a few times quickly. I can't.
I prefer a common name like Blushing Bracket [if it turns red], another name is Thin mazed flat polypore
That doesn't sound very memorable either.
I'm just going to call it .. the Fake Turkey Fan Fungi.

The Turkey Fan Fungi.
Scientific name: Trametes versicolor

I found this about 200 feet from the other one. Last year, this log had a different kind of fungi on it and at the base of the tree where half the tree is sort of alive.

I found white jelly fungi all over one section of our woods. Some of the pieces were rather large and looked like the common jelly fungi of Witch's Butter but pure white.
I like the common name which is easy to remember.
Snow Fungus.
Scientific name: Tremella fuciformis
Apparently this is 'good' stuff which has anti-inflammatory properties. Um. Still not sure I'd go with eating this. You can purchase different forms of this fungi to eat, to take as a pill, or to use on your skin.
I know there is so much we don't know about what is growing around us.

Then I found this which was aged and old. Curious that I first thought someone had left some material in the woods.
I have no clue what it might be. Obviously it grew a long time ago and turned black.

Fungi/mushrooms are very short lived. The following is some sort of Japanese Umbrella fungi, I think. I found it at 8 am when I headed out to check the fences.

I returned to look at it after I'd done chores and picked sweet corn.
In two hours, it looked like this....

These fungi/molds/mushrooms are constantly changing.

I consider myself extremely lucky to find them as they Pupawee. That is a Potowatami word for Emerge or Passage. 

Here are some more slightly ugly looking fungi, but I found them quite beautiful in the way they were grouped and in all different stages of their short lives.

Ink caps

I took a series of photos of one type of fungi that I think is pretty interesting. I found them when they were fresh and glistening. I took photos in a series of days to see what they looked like when they were done with their job. I won't put it here today but will save it for another time.

After 4.5 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, I'm headed out to check out the woods once more and see what will surprise me.

I leave you with this Fun Guy. 
One of my tiny soldiers sitting on an Oyster Mushroom.

Friday, August 27, 2021

What do you want to do?

The KVR Trail Challenge.

I first decided to try it in 2018. That failed. I really did quite well hiking the trails and starting out. It fizzled with so many PT appointments for the other half and all of the intensive care I had to provide at home. 

I do love setting challenges for myself. If I can finish a challenge, I feel like I've made an accomplishment.

When I was in my 20's my goal was to do a half marathon along with 5k's and 10k races. I did accomplish a half marathon and after several years of training and running I grew tired of distance running and began to work on distance bicycling. My sister and I trained hard and we ended up doing 140 mile overnight trip by bicycle.

When I moved to this area and fell in love with riding mules, I set my sights on  Endurance riding. I did six 25 mile judged rides with Badger and I loved it. When he became ill, I quit distance riding. When Badger died, I had a hard time with going out to ride. I often rode Badger down the back roads, he was always super steady. We were fearless together.

Hiking became my next 'thing'. Well, sometimes it is more of a walk along and look around for cool things sort of a walk. But I did discover that I can really cover the ground if I put my mind to it. 

The 2018 Ice Cave Trail was one a fast and furious hike where I even had to backtrack. I had a good start that year and 20 miles under my belt before it fell apart.

This summer I did a 9 mile hike for my birthday. Okay 8.69 miles according to an app called Map My Walk. I carried Charlie for a good part of the walk as I was trucking up and down the hills bent on doing a good workout. It took me 3 hrs and 43 minutes to do it. This with breaks in the shade and a lunch. I often stopped to offer water to Charlie.

My hikes with Bill are far shorter and average about 2 hours. He isn't a fast hiker, but he is fun to hike with. 

After reading the book about the Appalachian Trail, I knew I'd never get to do it. It is too far away. I read also that it is far too popular too. So, I thought about the Ice Age Trail around our state. That is out too. The day hikes look incredible, but the travel looks like it would be a problem for my situation. These hiking adventures are not close enough to home.

So. Why not go back and do day hikes at KVR and complete their challenge? There are 50 sections to hike. The challenge is to do it within a year. Another huge plus is I wouldn't have to deal with crowds.
All sections totaled up without backtracking [impossible with a solo hiker] would be about 68.5 miles.

This is not a great shot of the map but you can get an idea of what it might look like. 

At least I can get a map and start plotting out the hiking sections. I'm going to get a better compass too. My dinky dollar one that has a whistle on it really isn't very useful. 

So you know what I am going to do on New Years Day 2022? Yep. 

Strap on my hiking boots...

At least that is what I want to do...

I can at least plan on it right? Until then, I will explore a few of the trails I haven't done yet... as soon as it cools off ...

Thursday, August 26, 2021

It isn't funny

There is a run on Ivermectin paste at the store when I went to get some horse wormer for my mules to do their routine worming.

For frickin' real?

Well, I suppose. The ones who don't want a vaccination have heard that Ivermectin can treat or prevent Covid. And yes there is an Ivermectin for humans to rid them of parasitic worms. Like the dude who drank from our neighbor's creek when he was visiting 25 years ago and got some nasty parasites. He said the meds were about as bad as having the parasites. He was sick for a long time. The lesson there is not to drink from a creek when cattle poop upstream from it. 

I had a real live person tell me that getting vaccinated would magnetize me. Damn, her source was a Dr. Tenpenny [that name should say something]. I took my keys and tried it...they kept falling off my forehead. Hmmm, IF I could keep track of my keys by being magnetic, that would be awesome.

How useful I could be to pick up nails and bits of metal around construction sites.

No way.

But people are getting a bit unnerved. Our county is averaging a death every few days from Covid right now. And it is not the elderly. Moms and dads in their 40's and 50's. Or they could be grandparents. 

But the vaccine changes your DNA and makes you into a robot or a zombie or...something. I guess I'm not clear on that. 

Other reasons for not taking it are numerous. Like, ... we are healthy and just fine. We already had it once. I have no health issues so I will be fine. I am not old and infirm so I will be fine. Or it hasn't been tested enough.

With Billions of doses administered around the world, I think it might just be safe to say that the vaccine has sort of, kind of, maybe been tested? 

I know some people who had some adverse effects. They felt crappy for a few days. I felt tired. But I didn't get magnetized, I didn't grow a third boob [thank goodness], and I didn't even lose my freedom of choice. 

My good friend and hiking pal decided not to get vaccinated. He suspects he had Covid last year and has decided that he will be fine when it comes around again. I explained that we would now follow last year's precautions of still hiking together, but going in use vehicles. 

You know, he is good with that and we remain friends. I've made peace with the thought of those who wish to remain unvaccinated. 

Visits of all persons will be outdoors no matter their status. Our place, our rules.

After all there is always bleach you know and light. A big beautiful light you could stick up your bum.

If I offend anyone, I am sorry/not sorry. 

But really. Horse paste wormer? My mules make the worst faces when I give it to them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Bored but busy

What on earth can I do when it is screaming hot out and it is raining every day? Monsoon time! 
Dog Days of August. 
Monster Skeeters. 

And very scary storm cells...

This one actually just had wind in it and blew right through. The temperatures dropped for a bit and then the sun came out and the heat went back up to miserable.

I did go out for a walk up through the woods to drop off some mail after the storm passed with Charlie. In a few spots, the bugs weren't too awful, but in others?
.......OHHHH my!
You may be able to see the swarm of very hungry skeeters attacking the netting. My father in law gave me this head net so it is pretty old, but very useful. I have about 4 others too, as I've tried different kinds, but this one works the absolute best.

I did find some cool fungi, but I'll get to that later.

I needed to 'do' something. 
The other half was watching boxing on Showtime at Full Volume.  I couldn't deal with the constant noise. 
Mowing was out, his mower still needed to have more hydrostatic oil stuff in it and the ground was still mushy. 
I needed some 'porch' time and some peace and quiet. 

I am so pleased that we had outlets put in on the porch. Charlie and I can sit on the porch and enjoy a nice breeze from a large fan. He can sleep and I can read or do something else.

I wanted to 'find' a small chair appropriate for my larger Teddy Bear. Something I could carry into the woods for doing 'stuff'. 

I checked out some online shopping sites and was horrified at the ugly stuff they had for sale. The choices were cheap looking plastic chairs that were pink, ugly, and overpriced.

I gathered down branches from the last storm and some bark.
I whittled the bark off from the sticks and instead started to figure out how to build a tiny table for the tiny bears. 

I am not a woodworker nor am I much of a carver. But I can peel sticks and use imagination. I wanted to concentrate on something other than running amok in the woods with the heat and bugs.
With a glue gun, I was able to make the 'table' just high enough for Lil Bear to sit on a bark chair.
I'd made a stick chair once before and it fell apart. 

I have watched videos on line and have decided that I am not talented enough to use all sorts of the woodworking tools hubby has. I'd cut my fingers off for sure.

These little bears can be found in the kid section of most toy places.
I think they are called...Calico Critters. I am lucky to get hand me down toys. 
I looked up little houses for them out of curiosity and was not pleased with the plastic cheap houses.

I am forming a plan to make my own little bear house. Every fun idea starts with a notion.

After all, I started on the primitive furniture and it isn't turning out so badly.
I even encased some flea bane flowers and chicory in the table top to imitate an epoxy topped table.

Oh wait, why on earth would a person like me put an effort into toys? Well, I think of how we played as kids. We made 'scenes' with our toys. We called them Set Ups.

I mean I could pick up a hobby that was meaningful. Like sewing or perhaps doing something practical like putting an effort into baking or ... some such thing. Maybe I never lost my love for creating and playing, right? [Generally, August is my month of putting up produce, but this year we only grew sweet corn, and that is coming on late..]

I figured if the Bears had a table to eat at, they might want to invite friends over for a meal.

I took out the leftover Model Magic I had tightly sealed in a ziplock bag. I dabbed some drops of paint on my fingers and made some tiny bowls with a couple of dragons watching over my work. 
Sorry, crappy picture...pointing below....

I did get a couple of great books, I'm reading one right now about the disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail. Geraldine was a woman after my own heart who met a tragic end when she got lost. 

One of my dreams is to take on a long hike. Not the AT but perhaps parts of the Ice Age trail here in WI.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Early Mornings

Friday morning was incredible. Although I wish everyone had planted soybeans instead of corn. Corn gets to be sOOOO tall! And I am SOOOO short! Getting a good shot of the ridge is hard.
This was pre dawn. 
Charlie and I wandered up our gravel road and pretty much did a daydream walk. I dreamt about life, possibilities and ...well, how hot is was and how many skeeters wanted to EAT me even on the road.

I'd lie if I said that Covid B*tch Delta wasn't on my mind and how would IT affect us through this next fall and winter. Last year it was a challenge to be met and to be dealt with. This year, it feels like a real drag. 
Having a spouse that would be negatively affected by any virus or bacteria makes things feel a bit more concerning.

But on to other things. Fog.
It is that time of year.
I missed getting out for the full moon rise but managed to grab a not so interesting shot of it on Saturday night.

I couldn't sleep past 3:30 am, so I got up made some coffee, filled a bottle of water, and headed off into the night by 4:30. 

The drive was super foggy and a few times I stopped for deer in the road. The drive during the day is about 30 minutes. Add night time fog and there is another dimension of s..l..o..w... . But it was actually better to drive that twisted river road on a Sunday morning because there was absolutely no traffic to contend with.

The hike and climb take about 15 minutes in the dark. Slowing down for the deer put me behind schedule and I just about missed the moon setting over the bluff to the west. 

The view from the bluff was amazing. 
Yes, I brought coffee and Rabbit and Bear.

Sometimes you just have to share these magical moments.

Remember Bear
I am always 
Here for you

And then the magic happened all at once.

I made it home before the other half woke up. 

I really cherish those few hours in the morning I have to myself. It seems like it is the only time I get to regroup and face the oncoming challenges of the day.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Fungi and Chocolate Slime Mold?

I'm slowly trying to catch up with things while at the same time limit my 'screen' time. My eyes seem to tire very easily. So I am doing a lot of things to keep the eye strain down to a dull roar.

Crab Spider waiting to pounce on a woolly aphid aka known as a Fairy Fly...

Club Fungi close up and then with an SD card next to it for getting an idea of how small this was! [If you click on the photo, you should be able to see it much larger.]

I'm pretty happy about finding the club fungi. This was the very first time I'd found it and actually knew to look for it.

Old slime mold that has dried up.

Slug on a rotting stump with tube slime mold.

Drum roll please...

Chocolate Tube Slime Mold.
It has other names but I thought this was the neatest.

I'll wrap up with just a pretty little fungi that reminded me of an umbrella. It had a blue tint to it and by the afternoon it had drooped and 'melted'. I imagine it belongs to the tiny ink cap family.

I need to get back out tomorrow morning before the heat and humidity get too intense and look around on the logs.
I did watch Fantastic Fungi on Netflix today and the photography and time lapse photography was quite beautiful.

It was pretty interesting and if you like fungi and mushrooms it might be worth your time.
It also had some interesting interviews regarding the use of the ingredients of the Psilocybin Mushroom and PTSD and depression.

There are rains and storms predicted for tomorrow night so I may be out hunting the strange world of slime molds and fungi again this weekend.