Saturday, September 24, 2016

Autumn, for a Spell

We've crossed over into the luminous, liminal season, the fleeting, over all too soon Autumn. I'm trying to slow the clock, as I harvest my dreamy Glass Gem Corn, as I walk the fog cloaked mornings, as I watch my pumpkins grow.







Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Heirlooms of High Summer


Seeds were given by an acquaintance to my Grandpa to then to me. An unknown heirloom tomato.
It may be a local heirloom, kept for generations but it is similar to Brandywine or Millionaire
They are mammoth in size (this is nothing near the biggest I've seen), irregular in shape, and slightly pink.
The best tasting tomato I've had!

Awaiting my Gem Glass Corn and mighty excited about it.
Although they are beautiful, these decorative corns are edible just as you'd eat sweet corn,
and it can be dried and popped for popcorn too.
I'll have to try it all ways!
Purple Stalk of Painted Mountain Corn

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fall from the Vine

Volunteer pumpkin vines unfurling in the fog.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mushroom Monday

Periodic rain & heat has the forest alive with fungi, especially large and colorful mushrooms pepper the forest floor.

This purple hued mushroom was a treat. I think it may be a Silvery-Violet Cort but I'm not sure.

Gem Studded Puffball with guest


Edibles - Smooth Chanterelles & Indigo Milky Mushrooms

Boletes

Bolete


Monday, August 8, 2016

Mushroom Monday: Faerie Rings


It is always a genuine thrill to find a ring of mushrooms in the forest. Though they are purported to be portals to the Faerie Realm, through which one might enter, never to return, or to return years later, I always risk it, usually to record the marvelous phenomenon with my trusty camera. The faeries had, however, set their poison ivy snares all around this ring. There is much folklore about faerie rings, differing from country to country and changing throughout time. This article HERE is great at exploring all of these myths & legends. One of the more common beliefs about the rings is that they are a place where faeries dance in the round, holding festivities. It's also believed that it is best not to disturb these rings. Oddly enough, the ring in my woods, beneath a towering cedar tree, arose on the evening of August 1st, which happens to be the Celtic Festival Day of Lughnasadh (or Lunasa). Lunasa marks the beginning of harvest, halfway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, and a time for celebrating the Earth and it's magnificent ways. Perhaps there were faeries celebrating the coming of Autumn. I'm sure ready for it.



Monday, July 25, 2016

Mushroom Monday

Today the rain falls in sheets, thunder rolls. The dark, gray, & wet is such a welcome sight here in the Midwest, rolling in on the heals of a hot, hot, dry, cloudless week. The following fungi were sighted weeks ago already, now shriveled to oblivion. But after the rain today (more expected this week) there will surely be others to discover soon.


My guess is this from the Amanita family: a young Yellow Patches

Not sure what species these guys are (possibly Reddening Lepiota) but often find them in pairs or small families.

Perhaps the same species as above though color is whiter. A lovely little family.

These lovely edibles, Indigo Milky Mushrooms, were back for a short while.

See how they hide! You must sneak up on them.




Monday, June 20, 2016

Midsummer Menagerie

Summer is arriving in a bright, heavy cloak of humid heat. Today's solstice will mark the longest day of the year, the official first day of Summer, but Midsummer in the ancient Celtic calendar (May Day marking the first of summer). I prefer to see it as Midsummer, because summer is most definitely not my favorite season. It brings many gifts and I always try to embrace it and be thankful for the warmth and sunshine I know I'll miss come winter. Summer certainly showers us with blooms and colors galore, plus fruits and vegetables (and bugs!). Here's hoping summer is robust but not void of cloud, breeze, and rain. Happy Summering.

Milkweed

Purple Coneflower - Echinacea




Queen Anne's Lace

Prickly Pear Cactus Bloom

Prickly Pear Cactus - the green between blooms and pads turn into red fruits (prickly pears)

Native Prickly Pear Cactus

Wild Bergamot

Chipmunk Lunchtime