I was watching the boys this afternoon, and I spent the first hour trying to herd them outside, on another pleasant, not-too-hot day. My younger son mentioned something about finding ripe blueberries. I was surprised, as I hadn’t seen any ripe ones, but, whaddaya know he was right! Here’s the first ripe blueberry I’ve seen in the back yard this year.
most of the blueberries in the yard still look like this:
A little later, I convinced them to take a walk in the soaking wet woods with me, to see if all the recent rain has brought out more mushrooms. The first one we encountered was this, which I think is some type of Grisette , an attractive mushroom, but not a good one to eat.
We weren’t finding many edible ones, until I spotted this little cluster of oysters up in a standing dead tree. I had to put one of the boys on my shoulders to pick them, and unfortunately they were too buggy to eat.
We followed it for a little while while it crawled through the underbrush, then buried its head in what looked like a nest of some sort, or maybe some rodent’s hole. It sat there for a couple of minutes, engaging in odd vibrations and wiggles. Then the ground beneath the snake started moving, and…
…suddenly a second snake popped its head out of what actually had been some sort of underground snaky nest. The two snakes got all wrapped up in each other. For a moment, it looked like maybe they were fighting, but soon enough it became obvious that their intentions were more of the amorous sort.
After that educational moment, I had some time on my own for the remainder of the afternoon. I headed back out for some more ambitious, child-free explorations. This cute orange ‘shroom was one of the first things I encountered.
A little farther up the trail, I came across what I think is the first blewit of the season. It looked generally right, and had the distinctive blewit smell, but the gills in the bottom weren’t exactly the color I remember. I’m going to pass up eating this one until I am totally sure that it’s right. No sense in getting ahead of myself, there will be plenty of blewits later in the season!
Another super-common mushroom I was finding everywhere, in vast quantities was this, which I think is a common funnel cap (clitocybe gibba), but I’m not totally sure. I will have to do some more research to figure out what these are, because there are loads of them right now!
I mostly wandered through the mature hardwood forest on the far side of the creek, an area that I explored more extensively during the winter, but haven’t been back to in months. It’s a pretty nice part of our land.
cool triple-holed tree
Another Russula– this one was particularly impressive for its color and girth.
I got home just before dinner, with dark skies and ominous rumbling off to the west. I checked the weather before stepping out, and saw that we were under a flash flood warning, extreme thunderstorm warning, and tornado watch. Yikes! About half an hour later, we were hit with yet another violent spring storm, with lightning, high wind, and yet another inch of rain in less than half an hour. The rain continued late into the night (although less intensely), so it looks like our wet wet week in Virginia is going to continue.