Yesterday I brought my camera with me when I went to the mailbox. If I had walked, I know it would have taken more than an hour because I would have seen so many more opportunities to stop and take a picture.
There’s Never a “Quick Trip” Anywhere Out Here
My intention was to make *quick* trip to check the mail because I was waiting on a delivery of something in particular. But before I started the mailbox run, there was a mushroom that Rob had spotted near where he parks the tractor.
He’d told me about it the day before so I needed to get pictures of it first thing.
Just as I took its picture, I saw there were more of them, just a little up the hill.
The day before that he’d seen a different one, so of course I got some pictures of it, too:
But I digress. After I finished taking the pictures of the pancake mushrooms I took the 4-wheeler to get on with the mail-checking task.
But the 4-wheeler was having issues and died on me a few times. This, of course, is where having the camera on hand came in handy indeed. I had ample time to walk around a bit and take some pictures while I waited for it to start again.
Dinner Leavings along the Mailbox Route
I know it was a squirrel who left this mess on the flat rock by the first creek crossing. The day before we’d seen a squirrel running across the driveway with a mouth full of mushroom.
Good thing I wasn’t watching which mushrooms the squirrels were eating so we could try them too! Squirrels have some interesting digestive abilities. They can even eat the deadly mushrooms without it hurting them. There’s more information about that here: http://www.mushroomthejournal.com/greatlakesdata/Terms/squir27.html#Squirrelsa
Leaves to Notice
It’s only July but already the leaves of the sourwood are beginning to color and drop. They always do this a little in late summer. And I always notice them. I love the leaves of autumn and the teasers of late summer.
My favorite leaf picture from yesterday is a rock and leaf composition with understated colors. I love the paleness of the rock and the light colored leaf:
Herbs to Notice
I’ve been watching for a particular herb favorite of mine. It’s about the time for Lobelia inflata to bloom. I use the seeds of this plant to make a tremendously appreciated anti-spasm formula.
When the seed pods are brown and dry I’ll snip the stem and put the whole thing in a paper bag. Then I can smash the bag a bit and the pods will burst, releasing all the seeds inside the bag. After that, I’ll use a portion of them for my herbals and spread a portion of them outside so I’ll have more to gather next summer.
Frogs and Feathers
I love finding wild bird feathers. It seems that I encounter a lot of crow feathers during my walkabouts. Yesterday morning was no exception. We have free-range chickens, so chicken feathers are easy to find. And I’m always finding feathers as evidence the cats have killed a bird, too. But those feathers don’t catch my attention the way randomly placed ones on rocks in creeks do.
Just as I was getting ready to try the 4-wheeler again I saw this small frog in the creek.
He’s only about an inch or two long and thought he was well-hidden, which he was. But not so well-hidden that he could escape my notice, ha.
Other Posts Like This One
If you enjoyed this, this post reminds me of Why it Takes Me an Hour to Go to the Post Office and Back so you might like it too. Both demonstrate how I shouldn’t leave home with the camera or a notebook or a sketchpad if the trip is intended to be a quick one.
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.