Monday, August 21, 2006

A Frog and a Redbelly Snake

Sam found a Redbelly snake which was neat because we've never seen one before.

red-belly snake

And then we found this frog on the bathroom window.

tree frog

tree frog

I've been so enjoying this tree in the woods which has an ivy-like plant growing up the side of its dark bark. I just think it's so pretty, and I had never seen this ivy-like plant that is growing up all over things in the woods.

We finally purchased a plant book so we could correctly identify many of the things we had found. This ivy is called Bur Cucumber. The cutest little spiny cucumber-like pods grow on it.

a little cucumber from a Bur Cucumber vine

We also got an edible wild plant book, and it was interesting to note that what I always refer to as thorn apple trees are actually Hawthorns. Our woods are full of these trees. Even within it there are quite a few different species as evidenced by the difference in their apples, but they all have the most amazing and horrible long thorns. Every time I see them I think of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. Thorns are so awful, I just can't imagine.

Thorn apple/Hawthorn trees are scattered all through our woods. Some are like crab apple trees with little red apples, some yellow, others the apples hang in little clusters like berries. Now that summer is almost over the ground is littered with little red apples. Here is a picture of one tree hanging out over the water.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Morning Walk

We all went for a walk early this morning.
I love walking in the woods in the morning.

early morning walk

Here is a flower I had never seen before.
I can't be sure but I think it is a Monkeyflower.

monkey flower

I got pics of more mushrooms. They are pretty and fascinating to look at.
I think these pleated-looking ones below look like little umbrellas. smile

cute little umbrella mushrooms!

I think this is considered a fungus, gross but fascinating nonetheless.

Friday, August 18, 2006

August Photos

I was talking to Dad on the phone the other day and telling him about the fiddlehead ferns that grow so plentifully in the woods and along the trails. Even with driving the trails daily, those ferns just want to keep growing up and I told him how tough and knobby a stump they leave behind when you cut them down. Even at this late date they're still growing up in the trail.

fiddlehead fern stump

fiddlehead fern starting to grow it's almost cute :)

Here's a really pretty picture of a wild sunflower.

wild sunflower

and some of my favorite flowers in the yard

my flowers

and some pretty flowers framed by woods and water

flowers in the woods

We have so many interesting trees in our woods. There is one standing next to "Maple Tree Island" which is very large, but what is interesting is that the middle limb of the tree reaching up into the sky is twisted like a piece of taffy as you can see in the next photo. There are other trees that have limbs like this and I wonder what made it do that as it grew?

twisted limb

Here is another old gnarled and knobby tree.

old tree

This is Maple Tree Island. smile
The kids named a lot of places in the woods when they were little. In the spring when it floods or when the summers are not dry the river surrounds this little piece of land.

Maple Tree Island

This is one of my favorite spots. I love birch trees in with white pines.

a pretty trail through the birch trees

Thursday, August 17, 2006

August in the Woods

The days are just racing by. I wish August, with weather like we've been having, would just go on and on. Crisp, clear days, just perfect weather. Jack and I have been going for daily rides in the woods. I just so look forward to it . Life, as I'm sure for most, is just not easy sometimes and these regular visits out to the woods and seeing the river has just been such a blessing to me. Last night we ran the four-wheeler up into the back of the truck and drove around to the other side of the river, the part of our land we can't get to from this side which is unfortunate as there is more of it over there than here.

I’ll interject here that when we go for rides or walks in our woods, we ride down a short field lane before we get to the woods. Also, most of our land is on the other side of the river from where our house is. There is no bridge across so we have to drive around the country block to get to our land from the other side. Being immensely thankful for our land and realizing how blessed we are, bridge or no bridge, it is still a bit of a pain and certainly a disadvantage.

So, we rode around in the woods on the other side of the river, and that was really nice for a change of trail. It was fun to see new things. There was a deer in the field when we got there and a skunk doing a fast waddle out of our way. There is a place I just love. It is a dark forested area with a stand of hemlock that makes you feel like you're way back in the woods somewhere, like a fairytale. I took pictures but they never do it justice.

I spliced two photos together for this one.

When we were done and riding back to the truck we came upon a bunch of bright gold mushrooms. They were just so pretty.

Yellow Patches, Amanita flavoconia

I think this one looks like a little mushroom house. LOL

I think this one looks like a little mushroom house. *Ü*

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Falling In Love With August

I am falling in love with August. I have never been a big summer person. Fall is my time. And then I fell in love with spring. Winter has its moments. It means quilts and wood fires and books and cuddling. So, since I have become more enchanted with summer over the years, I guess I am close to enjoying the whole year! And what a treat that is. Especially living in Wisconsin where seasons are fickle and you can wait through a whole long winter only to see spring (when it finally comes) dissolve into winter again and then never come back, just head straight into summer. It was just very interesting the other day. I walked out to the mail box on the first of August and everything just felt and sounded different. A definite change in air and sound, the bugs, the look. I suppose it could be my imagination, but I don't think so. Anyway, I'm just really enjoying August.