Camping with Peggy

Peggy trying to pet Sheba -- as Sheba does her whirling dervish act.

Peggy trying to pet Sheba — as Sheba does her whirling dervish act.

 

Camping with Peggy is such fun.  I don’t think there are many subjects we haven’t discussed.  We are both avid readers, both love time together and time to ourselves, she loves my dogs and likes my husband — and loves the outdoors.    So this has been a wonderful camping trip.

By the way, Peggy is a superb wildlife photographer.  If you want to see some gorgeous waterbird photos, check out her paddling blog.  She also has a camping blog where she does extensive reviews on campgrounds — mostly in Florida and Georgia now, with future reviews in NC and SC to come.

View from the bedroom

View from the bedroom

Today we took a different trail to see different scenery — and ended up at the covered bridge again.  After we were back at the campground, Ron came from the office with trail maps.  So we could finally see where we wanted to go.  Only by that time, we were out of the hiking mood.

Instead, we did what we do best…. chatted.  And thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Looking toward the bedroom.  The bathroom is on the right.

Looking toward the bedroom. The bathroom is on the right.

I just love Peggy’s trailer.  It’s a 17′ Apex by Coachmen.  She got it for solo camping trips, and it’s perfect for her.  When she’s not outdoors, she can curl up with a good book in her reading nook with the huge windows and still keep an eye on the activities going on in the campground.

I took dozens of photos of her artwork and all the pretty little things that make her trailer feel comfy and homey.  I can’t post them all, but these will give you an idea of how beautifully she has personalized her little home-away-from-home.

She is the only person I have ever heard say that when she wakes up in her camper, she thinks she is in her bed at home.

We’ll both be leaving in the morning.  But we will definitely be getting together for more camping together.

The kitchen

The kitchen

The reading nook

The reading nook

 

Over the shelf unit by the front door

Over the shelf unit by the front door

 

The cozy bedroom

The cozy bedroom

 

Peggy put matching decals on the cupboard over the refrigerator and on the under sink cabinet doors.

Peggy put matching decals on the cupboard over the refrigerator and on the under sink cabinet doors.

 

Picture in bedroom

Picture in bedroom

 

Unfortunately my camera stopped the motion of the whirling wheels.

Wind kitty. Unfortunately my camera stopped the motion of the whirling wheels.


 
Exterior

Exterior

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Last Day at FDR State Park

This is my favorite photo of our Aliner here at FDR State Park

The campground emptied out this morning.  Now our little Aliner is among the small handful of campers left.

It is absolutely glorious here.  Quiet and serene, and achingly beautiful.

Ron and I went on a two hour walk around the campground and cabin areas this afternoon to check out the scenery.  I’ll let the photos and captions tell the story.

Beautiful grounds on the cabin side of the lake

Cabin side of lake

Deserted campground

Deserted tent campsite

Yet another shot of this beautiful campground

Love these hills!

Looking toward the campground from the cabin side of the lake.

Looking from the camping area toward the cabin area

A little scary trying to back the trailer in with deep ditches on each side of the road.

On the bottom is stonework done by the CCC in the 30's. On top of the original stonework are rocks enclosed in anchor chain fencing. I found it a very telling commentary on the difference in craftsmanship.

Rental cabins

This was my favorite cabin. It's a lot smaller than most, and I found its appearance charming.

I remembered seeing steps from the cabin area to the camping area, but couldn't remember where they were. So after we gingerly descended this hill, leaning on our hiking poles for support, I looked up and there were the steps we had missed!

I'm including this photo just because I thought the tree roots undercut by the stream were cool.

 

 

A New Bolete

Bolete with heavily reticulated white stalk

Bolete with heavily indented white stalk (not true reticulation)

The first picture is a little fuzzy due to condensation on the lens.  Coming from an air conditioned house into 90+ degree muggy temperatures will do that.  🙂

The lemon yellow pore surface and the creamy white heavily indented stalk stumped me.  I went through all my books and spent a couple of days on the net looking at mushroom photos, and I couldn’t find a match.

The velvety cap is 2-1/2″ wide.

Reddish, velvety cap

Reddish, velvety cap which turned true brown after I brought it inside.

The pore surface is bright lemon yellow.  It has a white reticulated stalk (although I am not certain that those indentations qualify as reticulation.)  I found it under pine trees.  The spore print is olive brown.  The white cap flesh darkened over several hours to tan.  There was no hint of bluing anywhere.  The reddish color disappeared from the cap after a while indoors, becoming a true brown.

And, finally, a drop of ammonia on the cap flashed a vivid blue green.

What I’ve been able to deduce so far is that it is definitely not poisonous because it is a bolete, it does not have red or orange pores, and there is no trace of blue bruising.  The cap flesh has a mild taste, so it is not bitter as some boletes are.  So it is safe to eat.

[NOTE:  Some orange capped Leccinum are poisonous.  (A Leccinum is also a bolete.)  If you cannot confidently identify a Leccinum, then you should also avoid all orange capped boletes.]

bright yellow pore surface

Bright yellow pore surface

It is in the mid nineties this week with little chance of rain, so I may not see any more mushrooms for a while.

We have been having the most beautiful summer sunsets lately.  It’s a real treat for us because we are so surrounded by trees that we seldom see the actual sunset.  But sometimes, as in this case, we get the gorgeous colors reflected in the clouds over us.

 

no blue staining

Not a hint of blue bruising anywhere

buttons

Young button caps

spore print

Olive brown spore print

sunset clouds

Pink sunset clouds

The Boletes are Coming

two small boletes with parasitic mold

Two small boletes already showing signs of parasitic mold

These are the first boletes that appear in my yard each summer.  The bad news is that they are always immediately parasitized by a mold that I have tentatively identified as Hypomyces chrysospermus.

The mold starts on the bottom on the pore surface around the stalk, then spreads until the mushroom is completely disfigured.  And it is poisonous.

The good news is that the delectable boletes are on the way.  And the parasitic mold doesn’t affect the other ones.

a larger parasitized bolete

A larger parasitized bolete

I also have seen small puffballs in the yard the past week or so.  David Fischer, in his book Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America, says that many of the small puffballs are edible.  But the ones with tough rinds (that you can’t cut easily with your fingernail) are poisonous.  These little puffballs have a leathery, tough rind, so even though they are perfectly white in the middle, I leave them alone.

[Edited:  I have since identified these puffballs as Lycoperdon Marginatum.]

If you have the slightest interest in learning about wild edible mushrooms, I would strongly recommend that you get Fischer’s book.  I have a small library of mushroom books, but Dave Fischer’s is the only one that gives a set of identification keys that completely rule out poisonous lookalikes — IF you conscientiously follow them.

closeup of mold

Closeup of mold

I am really excited that the bolete season is finally underway.  I hope to have a lot of mushroom photos to share with you before too long!

discolored bolete flesh from Hypomyces chrysospermus

Cross section of parasitized bolete

tough rinded little puffballs

Small, leathery skinned puffballs.

On the shore

persistence

Persistence under adverse conditions

It is still far too hot for hiking and, despite a brief afternoon thunderstorm, still too dry for mushrooms.

So we walked along the lake today to explore the shoreline.

I was intrigued by the way the plants there have adapted to adverse conditions in strikingly beautiful, creative ways.

I also came across a litter of feral kittens.  I only got a brief glimpse of them before they raced into the culvert that was their home.  One looked like a siamese — beige coat with dark ears and

adaptability

Adaptability

tail.  One was charcoal gray striped.  And I don’t remember how the others were marked.  I went back later to see if they had emerged from their hiding place, but saw no sign of them.

Not a lot to say today.  I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Another lesson in adaptability

Another lesson in adaptability

driftwood

Driftwood

A critter home

Some critter's home

Feral kittens' home

Feral kittens' home

Canada geese

Geese on the lake

Country Road & Beaver Dam

Down my rural lane

My country road

Late yesterday afternoon Ron and I took a walk to check out the beaver pond about 3/4 mile from our house.

Wild carrots grow all along the road.  They fascinate me.  Such intricate clustered white flowers — each one with one tiny purple flower in the very center.  I used to enjoy dipping the flowers in batter and frying them for an unusual treat.  But since I’m trying to eat wiser, I just admired the flowers this time.

wild carrot flower

Wild carrot flower

But even more interesting than the flowers is the birds-nest form the flowers take on as they go to seed.  At first, it looks just like a cupped birds nest, but they progress into a completely closed cage-like formation.

Funny…. when I was younger I thought studying plants was the most boring thing on earth.  Now I find it endlessly fascinating.

The wild daylilies blooming season is past.  I found one single flower remaining.  The rest of them look like straggly bunches of grass now.  I used to thoroughly enjoy fully exploiting the edible parts… corms, shoots and flowers.  But it has been so hot this year, I haven’t had much desire to go digging in the dusty clay or bushwhacking through tall weeds to get to them.

wild carrot flower birds nest

Wild carrot birdsnest fully closed

I think, too, once you have learned a plant and its uses, that simply taking photographs can be as rewarding as eating them.

When we got to the beaver pond, we were disappointed and saddened.  The water is WAY down.  And it looks like someone sabotaged the dam.  There were large rocks on top of it that someone must have put there.  And the dam had fallen into disrepair.  I am afraid that something happened to the beavers.

beaver dam

Due to the low water level, grasses and weeds are growing, and the dam appears to be abandoned and in disrepair.

We did get a good bit of rain last night, so the water level might be up a little.  I’ll check the dam again soon and see if it has been repaired.

On our way down to the pond, one of the neighbors’ aggressive dogs ran out and accosted us.   I am not usually afraid of dogs, but this time I was really frightened.  One of the owners’ kids came out, gathered up the dogs, and assured me, “They won’t bite you.”  Yeah, right.

They are supposed to be fenced or chained, but no one enforces the laws out here.  On our way back, again the dogs came out at us, but the kids rounded them up again.

daylily flower

The one remaining daylily bloom

I used to enjoy taking long walks, but I am feeling less and less safe.  The only place I really enjoy walking anymore are the trails when we go camping.  It’s so sad, because I do live in a beautiful area with so much to take in on long, leisurely walks.

Whew!  This post is getting long!  I’ll quit talking now and just share some of the photos I took.

[Note 8/8/2010:  The beaver dam is in complete disrepair.  Apparently someone killed the beavers.]

erosion and tree roots

This eroded tree root by the side of the road looks like something out of "The Hobbit"

groundnuts

Groundnuts plant

wild quinine

Wild quinine

wild carrots by beaver pond

Wild carrots by the beaver pond

red clover

Red clover looking a little heat stressed

buttonbush

Not a great picture, but I included it because it is the first time I have seen buttonbush flowers growing here.