Left my camera at home today, unfortunately. Tofu delivery day today in C’ville. Stopped before lunch at a couple spots along the Rivanna Trail. First was at a large tree fallen over a creek within sight of Barracks road. A couple of weeks ago, I found loads of oysters; today I found a few. Later, I explored Meadowcreek gardens, a community garden/few acres of tangled woods near where two highways come together. Near the creek, I spotted a large hawk/small eagle sitting on a rock. It seemed either dazed or injured; I was able to get within 15 or 20 feet of it and it didn’t fly away. In the woods, I found a big flush of oysters; unfortunately they were in the middle of a big patch of prickers. Unable to find a more delicate way through the briar patch, I finally just had to fight my way through for the handful of mushrooms.
After lunch, I spent an hour scrambling through the mature hardwood forest below Monticello. Found loads of oysters, some of enormous size! (will post photos of them soon). Filled a three-gallon bag to the top, and impressed a couple of day hikers. Later, I explored part of the Rivanna trail below Pantops shopping center, across from Riverview park. Tiny waterfalls, big sycamores, and a few more oysters in a surprisingly scenic bit of Charlottesville that I had never explored before. It’s a spot I would like to go back to.
Here’s a pic of some of those oysters, taken after I had got them home and cleaned and trimmed them. The nice ones pictured here (including a few the size of dinner plates) I’m saving for Sunday dinner. The more dried out or frost-damaged ones (not pictured) are in the dehydrator now to be saved for future soups and whatnot.