May 21– platterful & cicadas

This is going to be a short one; once again, the hue and cry of life has gotten the best of me, at the expense of this project.   I’ve spent the past day delivering tofu, practicing with the band, and getting ready for a week long trip to Texas for a friend’s wedding.  I figured that I probably wouldn’t get much chance to do any observin’ and writing.

This afternoon, as I was on my way up to band practice, I came across a mess of mushrooms in the back yard.  A closer observation revealed that they were the “platterful” variety (Tricholomopsis platyphylla  http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/Fungi_Miller_Stevens_Rumann/Pages/tricholomopsis_platyphylla_page.html)

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There were a whole mess of ’em, and they were quite large as well.  Image

I showed them to my son Sami, and he was of course quite excited about cooking and eating ’em.   That boy does love mushrooms!Image

And finally, an update on the dreaded “seventeen year cicada”–  they have definitely arrived!  Their telltale holes in the ground are visible all throughout the community, along with the dried-up husks of their first molting.  Already, it’s getting hard to avoid stepping on nasty mashed-up dead cicadas scattered here and there, being eaten by ants.  Not to mention the live ones, which, while less numerous than the dead ones and husks, are certainly not hard to find.  Their metallic screeching is audible throughout the day, but at this point it isn’t too terribly loud, mostly blending into the normal late spring Virginia cacophony of insect, bird, and frog calls.  In fact, I heard my first whippoorwill just last night, an unmistakable sign of the arrival of warm weather. Image

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