A Few Mushrooms Today

Shaggy stalked bolete (Austroboletus betula).  Cap color can be yellow or orange.  This distinctive stalk makes it easy to identify.

Shaggy stalked bolete (Austroboletus betula). Cap color can be yellow or orange, sometimes bright, sometimes with brown tones. This distinctive stalk makes it easy to identify.

At last!  We found mushrooms today.  Unfortunately, all of them except the shaggy stalk bolete and the orange amanitas were in various stages of decomposition.

Much of the shaggy stalked bolete's long stalk was buried in leaf litter.

Much of the shaggy stalked bolete’s long stalk was buried in leaf litter.

The shaggy stalk bolete is edible, but not great.  We left it to spread its spores and hopefully produce a bunch more.

Many amanitas are deadly.  Note the enlarged bulb (ova) at the bottom.  That’s a clear warning of extreme danger.

These orange ones MIGHT be American Caesar’s mushrooms which are edible, but have an unpleasant fishy taste.

However the amanita family is so large and there are other orange ones.  I’m not willing to bet my life against a horribly painful, long drawn out death to risk eating anything in that family.  It’s too easy to make a fatal mistake.

Orange amanita.  I pulled the leaf litter away to expose the enlarged bulb (ova) at the base.

Orange amanita. I pulled the leaf litter away to expose the enlarged bulb (ova) at the base.

We also saw a group of 2 does and 4 twin fawns.

And we found a wild persimmon tree whose unripe ruit has a long way to go before becoming sweet and delicious.

The campground is rapidly filling up for the weekend.  But today was relaxed and pleasant.  We met some lovely people, and Sheba made friends young and old.  :)

This is big brother to the small amanita pictured above. You can see where the partial veil is separating to form a ring around the stalk.

This is big brother to the small amanita pictured above. You can see where the partial veil is separating to form a ring around the stalk.

Here are 5 deer.  I couldn't get the 6th one in the photo.

Here are 5 deer. I couldn’t get the 6th one in the photo.

Wild persimmons

Wild persimmons

Pink, fuzzy baby leaves

Pink, fuzzy baby leaves

 

New Camera Learning Curve :-O

Colorful bug on a passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Colorful bug on a passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Wow!  Do I ever have a lot to learn!  But I adore macro photography and now I should be able to get some of the closeups I love.

Another passionflower with a bee

Another passionflower with a bee

I am not sure about the color capabilities of this camera.  They looked a little dull without the saturation boost, but I am not sure I like them with the saturation boost either.  And I want the subject sharp and the background blurred.  Maybe I need to do everything with manual focus and skip the automatic settings?  If anyone has any tips for a beginner, I’d love to hear them.   In the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of reading on it.

A small (blurry) maypop, the fruit of the passionflower.  It will eventually get lime size.

A small (blurry) maypop, the fruit of the passionflower. It will eventually get lime size.

Maybe I should have bought a more expensive camera?  Or maybe I just need to learn this one.  One thing is for sure, it will take a while!  :)

Today was hot and muggy.  So humid that the air felt heavy and hard to breathe.  So walking wasn’t a lot of fun.  But this evening a cool, brisk breeze is blowing and thunderstorms will be moving in shortly.

I don't know what these are.  The leaves are powdery white, and they have a non-descript white flower -- until you see them up close!

Mountain mint. The leaves are powdery white, and they have a non-descript white flower — until you see them up close! (Thanks for the ID, Lynne.)

I haven’t found a single decent mushroom yet.  They will probably all fruit a couple of days after we leave since more rain is predicted!

Closeup of the powdery leaved plant's flowers.

Closeup of the mountain mint flowers.

Doe & Fawns

This doe and her fawns were all in one distant photo, but were difficult to see.  So I cropped them and put them together so you could see each one.

This doe and her fawns were all in one far away photo, but were difficult to see. So I cropped them and put them together so you could see each one.

My photos are not so great today.  I’m trying to break in a new camera and am not sure if I like it or not.

Just a pretty view.

Just a pretty view.

Also, all of the flowers are past their prime, so it’s not a lot of fun to post their pictures!

Deer are plentiful here.  It appears that all of the does had twins this year.

And so far, the only mushrooms I’ve found have been dried up and past their prime, too.

Hopefully tomorrow’s photos will be more interesting.  And of better quality!  :)

Wilting and tattered.  But still beautiful.

Wilting and tattered. But still beautiful.

Doves and a young cardinal foraging together

Doves and a young cardinal foraging together

The deer were in the sunlit field to the left.

The deer were in the sunlit field to the left.

This little leaf looks like jewelry, doesn't it?

This little leaf looks like jewelry, doesn’t it?

 

 

Camping Again!

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Another cold front!  Actually, it’s low 80’s with a great breeze, but that is cool for our area.  So we headed to nearby McKinney Campground on Lake Allatoona.

Our site over the lake

Our site over the lake

We’ve camped at this campground before, but not at this end.  When we were here before, a maintenance man told us that in summer it’s a lot cooler on “the point” due to the breezes.  He was right.  It’s lovely here!

We heard on the news that someone drowned here last weekend.  We didn’t hear whether it was an adult or child.

On our picture-taking walk this afternoon, we did not find a single flower.  Everything is varying shades of green.  But as always, I’m hoping to find mushrooms.  We’ll see!

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Little Sunny had to stay in the trailer while we walked.  He simply can’t make it that far anymore.

I’m adding a flower picture that I posted in my last entry from Coleman Lake.  It is a little flower that got lost on the page.  So I removed the surrounding vegetation and am posting it full size so you can see the glory of it.  What a beautiful creation!

Exquisite!

Exquisite!

 

 

Talladega National Forest

Iridescent splendor

Iridescent splendor

Transparent wings

Transparent wings

Ron and I took advantage of the cooler weather to head to Coleman Lake in the Talladega National Forest just 40 miles from home last week.  There is no cell reception there, plus thunderstorms were predicted for the weekend, so we only stayed three nights.  But what glorious days we had!

We met some lovely people there, and I embarrassed myself badly by being a terrible chatterbox.  When I meet people I REALLY like, I tend to do that.

Orange fringed orchid.

Orange fringed orchid. For a real eye treat, click to enlarge, then click the picture again to enlarge it even further. It’s gorgeous!

But most of the time was spent out exploring the trails and the beautiful show of jewels that nature provided.

I find I am starting to forget the names of plants.  I hope that it’s just from disuse, not from aging!  So I’ll present the pictures and allow you to caption the unlabeled ones as you’d like!  :)

Wild sweet potato flower.  These were all over the place!

Wild sweet potato flower. These were all over the place!

Bracken fern.  This area felt almost primeval.

Bracken fern. This area felt almost primeval.

Milkweed pods

Milkweed pods

Flowers blooming from a crack in the bridge rail.

Flowers blooming from a crack in the bridge rail.

Waterbugs walking on water, each in their little dimple of surface tension.

Waterbugs walking on water, each in their little dimple of surface tension.

unknown

sunshiny

purple2

purple

Swimming beach area

Swimming beach area

Our Casita

Our Casita

 

 

 

 

 

The Season for Flowers

Four o'clocks and gladiolas

Four o’clocks and gladiolas

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was waiting for it to be warm enough to go camping.  Now I’m waiting for it to be cool enough again!

The last of the white gladiolas

The last of the white gladiolas

In the meantime, I’m enjoying low-key summer puttering with flowers and a few veggies.

Something wiped out my tomatoes.  I didn’t plant resistant varieties and they didn’t fare well.  So I’m planting more tomorrow. I sure am glad we have such a long growing season!

pink gladiolas

Pink gladiolas

Also I had read that bell peppers will occasionally have a genetic flashback and produce hot peppers.  What are the odds of both of my container peppers doing the same thing?  They are too fiery to eat, so I’m planning to dehydrate some tomorrow for sparing use in dishes that need a little added kick.

I also want to get a fall vegetable garden going soon.  I sure do miss my home-grown lettuce! It had all bolted when we got back from our trip to Modoc.

Dianthus

Dianthus

 

 

Last Day at Modoc

Last night's sunset

Last night’s sunset

We will be leaving tomorrow morning.  This is one of a small handful of our trips that I will be glad to see end.  It’s running an average of 8 degrees cooler at home.

Today is overcast and sweltering.  The people next to us had reservations through tomorrow, but they left today.

A little island out in the lake under gray skies.

A little island out in the lake under gray skies.

The only wildlife, other than birds, that we have seen here was one gray fox.  He was strangely unafraid of us, and in fact followed us for a short distance on the road a couple of times.  My first thought was rabies.  I meant to mention it to the host, but forgot.  Will try to report it on the way out tomorrow.

There were a lot of children running around over the weekend, and if it was going to cause trouble, I would have expected it to have already done so.  Ron suggested that it might have been one that someone tried to make a pet of when it was a baby, then released it when they discovered it wouldn’t domesticate.

Closeup of the island.

Closeup of the island.

In any case, it’s not normal behavior for a fox.

Anyway, our camping season is probably over until cooler weather arrives.

 

Fantastic Forms Down by the Water

 

Huge tree kept from toppling into the lake by rocky supports.

Precarious twins

Precarious twins

It’s still sweltering here.  Far too hot to do anything energetic.  So I’ve meandered around amusing myself by searching out intriguing and unusual natural formations.

Many of the trees at waters’ edge just about have the supporting earth washed away.  It looks like the Army Corps of Engineers has put rocks around some of the more precarious ones to help support them.  But every time a jet ski flies by, strong waves crash relentlessly against them, taking a bit more of the red clay support.  And leaving even more fantastic forms behind.

This one can't last long.  It looks like grandaddy long-legs spider legs are holding it up.

This one can’t last long. It looks like grandaddy long-legs spider legs are holding it up.

We have had nice, strong breezes today as the ever-threatened, seldom-materialized thunderstorms pass us by.

One thing this trip has taught us is not to ever camp in South Carolina in the summertime again!

Ron brought home superb Mexican take-out for dinner this evening.

I’m still drawing plans for a camper van.  I am so itching to tackle that project!  Hopefully next year!

Clutching at the disappearing earth

Clutching at the disappearing earth

Interlocking roots

Interlocking roots

Odd trees on the swamp side

Odd trees on the swamp side

Trumpet flower vine hidden in underbrush

Trumpet flower vine hidden in underbrush

Growing at water's edge.  I used to know their name, but have forgotten and am too lazy to look them up.  :)

Growing at water’s edge. I used to know their name, but have forgotten and am too lazy to look them up. :)

Sunlight  glinting on water

Sunlight glinting on water

Thunderclouds passing over

Thunderclouds passing over

 

 

 

The Heart of Summertime

Tenters on the far bank

Tenters on the other bank

Cloud cover and a steady breeze made exploring the woods a pleasure today.  Amazingly, we have not picked up a single tick! Yet, anyway!

A variety of blueberries or huckleberries.

A variety of blueberries or huckleberries.

I took Sunny for a short, slow, old-doggie-paced walk this morning.  He soon tired, so we headed back.  Then I took Sheba for a longer, brisker, more interesting walk.

I found all kinds of little wonders to photograph.  However, in transferring them to my computer, I lost over 30 of them.  My favorites, of course!

I think it might be time to start thinking about getting a new camera.  I promised myself one for Christmas, but I might not make it  that long.

Darn!  :D

Wild muscadine grape buds

Wild muscadine grape buds

Greenbrier berries

Greenbrier berries

Smilax flower buds

Smilax flower buds

Sunny after his walk

Sunny after his walk

Sheba exploring

Sheba exploring

Last night's thunderstorm blew all of the trumpet flowers off their vines.  None are left in the trees.

Last night’s thunderstorm blew all of the trumpet flowers off their vines.

Greenbrier thorns and tendrils

Greenbrier thorns and tendrils

 

 

Still Beautiful; Still Hot

Our sunset last night.  The color was not enhanced -- it really was this gorgeous.

Our sunset last night. The color was not enhanced — it really was this gorgeous.

Although it’s 8 degrees hotter here than it is at home, we are managing to enjoy it.  There’s usually a nice breeze off the lake.

There is water across the street behind us, too.  We are surrounded on three sides by water.

There is water across the street behind us, too. We are surrounded on three sides by water.

Yesterday I sat outside under the awning doing crosswords and admiring the million scintillating sun sparkles on the blue water.  Waves gurgled onto shore and slapped up against the rocks.  A few brave birds, ignoring the heat of the day, sang in the deep woods around me.

Although this is a man made lake, I dreamed of Indians centuries ago paddling their canoes around the point.  The deep woods on the far shore beckoned mysteriously.

As evening fell, a lone, far-away whipporwill called.

Sheba.  The sun is giving her black fur red highlights.

Sheba. The sun is giving her black fur red highlights.

We spend a couple of hours in the hottest part of the day inside in the air conditioning doing crosswords, surfing, reading or napping.  We can’t do anything too energetic or we will overheat, so we mosey around — and when we get too hot, we head inside and cool off for a while.

In case any of you northerners ever wondered why southerners move and talk more slowly  sometimes that’s why.  It’s an adaptation to the extreme heat and humidity.  It was a lot more pronounced before everyone got air conditioning.

My precious little aging Sunny.  He is having enough trouble going on walks that I will have to get him a doggie stroller soon.

My precious little aging Sunny. He is having enough trouble going on walks that I will have to get him a doggie stroller soon.

So I can’t say that our trip is exciting.  It’s not.  But it’s beautiful and we are glad we are here.

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