Tuesday, October 31, 2023



In retrospect, give my lifelong fascination with fungi of all sorts, maybe I should have been a mycologist. In any case, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity these before and after shots of the fungus I tentatively identified in a previous post as Brefeldia maxima.

Monday, October 30, 2023



I stopped to talk with the contractor responsible for replacing this footbridge. Simple, right? 

Uhm, no. Few things in life are truly as simple as they seem. Part of what made this job more difficult was because it had to be built in an area certified as wetlands. But this area also serves as part of the plan to mitigate the effects of storm water runoff from a nearby housing development. AND, on top of all that, the drainage pipes running underneath the bridge had been crushed. So, of course, they had to be dug up and replaced. 

Fortunately, the contractor had experience in all these areas and was able--amazingly enough!--to get the job done in just a matter of days. He also thought it might have been a nice touch to install solar-powered lights. But, alas, no one wanted to foot the bill for those. So it is what it is, and a very nice change from the rotting footbridge it replaced.

Sunday, October 29, 2023



You can almost immediately tell the difference between people who have been raised around farm animals and those who have not by the way they refer to the animal shown above. I have overheard many folks, including well-meaning mothers and fathers, refer to it as a "cow". Well, I guess in the broadest possible sense, they are at least on the farm, if not quite yet in the barn. 

It's actually an ox. While there are many more specific reasons why it's an ox rather than a cow, I like this explanation:

"An ox . . . is a bovine, trained and used as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration inhibits testosterone and aggression, which makes the males docile and safer to work with. Cows (adult females) or bulls (intact males) may also be used in some areas.

Oxen are used for plowing, for transport (pulling carts, hauling wagons and even riding), for threshing grain by trampling, and for powering machines that grind grain or supply irrigation among other purposes. Oxen may be also used to skid logs in forests, particularly in low-impact, select-cut logging." -- Wikipedia

Saturday, October 28, 2023



I find red maple trees fascinating, especially around this time of year when they offer a whole range of colors. And I've heard that different people actually see different colors, depending upon the particular array of photoreceptors in their eyes. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023



The real Limberlost Trail is in Indiana. But while researching the term, I came across this story in Wikipedia:

According to the History of Jay County by M.W. Montgomery, published in 1864, the name Limberlost came from the following event:

A man named James Miller, while hunting along the banks of the swamp, became lost. After various fruitless efforts to find his way home, in which he would always come around to the place of starting, he determined to go in a straight course, and so, every few rods he would blaze a tree. While doing this, he was found by friends. Being an agile man, he was known as 'limber Jim,' and, after this, the stream was called 'Limberlost.'

The Indiana State Museum contends, "The swamp received its name from the fate of 'Limber Jim' Corbus, who went hunting in the swamp and never returned. When the locals asked where Jim Corbus was, the familiar cry was 'Limber's lost!'"

Tuesday, October 24, 2023



I've been into spies for some reason lately. One thing I've learned from this is that the Russians have been in the game for a lot longer than either the United States or Britain. I've also begun to better appreciate why Western democracies are so much more vulnerable than their authoritarian counterparts . . .

Monday, October 23, 2023

Sunday, October 22, 2023



Each season brings its own pallette to Greensprings Interpretive Trail.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Sunny Skies


 Mostly sunny skies and cool temperatures have dominated our weather this week. Heavy rains last week, though, helped raise the water level at Greensprings (shown above).

Linking again today with Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 19, 2023



When I first spotted this, I thought it was something someone had stuffed into the tree's crevice. Only after looking at it again more closely did I realize that it is yet again another variety (Brefeldia maxima?) of fungus. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Black Walnut


"Juglans nigra, the eastern American black walnut, is a species of deciduous tree in the walnut family, Juglandaceae, native to North America. It grows mostly in riparian zones, from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida and southwest to central Texas. Wild trees in the upper Ottawa Valley may be an isolated native population or may have derived from planted trees.

Black walnut is an important tree commercially, as the wood is a deep brown color and easily worked. Walnut seeds (nuts) are cultivated for their distinctive and desirable taste. Walnut trees are grown both for lumber and food, and many cultivars have been developed for improved quality wood or nuts." -- Wikipedia

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Friday, October 13, 2023

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Slippery When Wet


The Taskinas Creek Trail, following as it does the edge of a vast tidal marsh, can become very slippery. I suppose that's why park officials have wrapped the boardwalks in this chicken wire (above).

I arrived as the tide was still out.