Or, it’s all about the fungi.
At least it is in the woods right now. Okay, wait. It’s also all about the spiders and frogs, too, because I walked through webs aplenty (and tried not to think about hitchhikers) and every time I stepped foot near the tiny lake in the woods, the frogs practically knocked each other out trying to get out of my way.
I have that effect on frogs, I guess.
So, getting back to the fungi.
Once you notice a deep red mushroom on the forest floor, or a bright white one illuminated just right in a little patch of sun that sneaks through the trees, you just see them everywhere.
If I was a really good naturalist, or even a good blogger, I’d have dug up the names of these different kinds of mushrooms for you. But I’m just a girl with a camera in the Michigan woods, sweating in the late summer humidity and heat, talking out loud to myself, dropping cameras*, tripping over branches and getting bit by mosquitoes and deer flies. Geez, isn’t that enough?
Actually, it occurred to me just this evening that I have a good excuse for not knowing the mushroom varieties. My mother taught me all about the growth that you find in the Michigan woods earlier in the summer. I’m not sure she cared so much about the mushrooms, but in any case by this time in the year we’d be back in the city getting ready for school, our time at the cottage over until the next year. So there’s that.
And, I always get giddy when I see these:
Indian pipe! Also called ghost flower, ghost plant, or (barf) corpse plant. It’s sort of a fungus but it’s not. It has no chlorophyll, hence no green, but it does turn pink once it’s fertilized.
Anyway, if it’s late summer where you are, and you have a woods nearby, I implore you: get some bug repellent (or don’t, and wear some long sleeves and pants, regardless of the heat), go into the woods, and see what you can find. It’s kind of spectacular.
*I should have some film developed from this venture in a few weeks. I picked up a Minolta X700 and put a roll of Fuji 800 speed film I had hanging around in it, seemed a perfect speed to test in the low light of the woods. I dropped this camera in the woods, actually. And, I accidentally popped the back open while rewinding the film (it stuck, it was near the front of the roll, hopefully minimal damage). Sigh. And I also brought the Olympus Pen with some black and white film in it; but I’m never sure about metering and focusing with this bugger. So, surprises await.