August 5 – among the living

After a fairly miserable weekend (about which I’ll spare the details), this afternoon I found myself, if not quite spry, at least ambulatory.  Although I look like a 90-year old man, I’ve been able to walk around, and have been forcing myself to get out of my room and move around some.

Today, I’ve been especially noticing the profusion of flowers in the various planted flowerbeds.   Although I mostly haven’t been including our flower gardens in this journal, they really are so pretty today that I wanted to post a few pictures.  After lunch, I drove the kids over to Acorn community to spend a few hours with some friends there.  Along the side of their farmhouse, they’ve planted these pink lilies, which are in full bloom.  Image

And in the field behind the farmhouse, they have a whole bed of purple and white flowers.  I’m not sure what they are, and if they’re meant to be ornamentals, or if they have some sort of medicinal or culinary function, but they sure are pretty.Image

Back at Twin Oaks, I made my way up from the courtyard, past this delicately flowering succulent…Image

..to the “triangle garden” near MT, one of the prettiest flower gardens at Twin Oaks, with many different types of flower that bloom, one after another, throughout the entire summer.  Today, the whole garden was awash in color, and covered with butterflies, lined up at the floral buffet.  Now, I don’t know much about domestic flower species, so I’m not sure what each of these are, I’m hoping that someone reading this is a flower gardener and can tell me exactly what we’re looking at here…Image

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These pink blooms were especially impressive, about 8 inches across or moreImage

and this darker one (which I think may be the same sort of flower) was over a foot wide! Very impressive…Image

While I was laid up with a bad back, several people told me about all the chicken of the woods mushrooms they’d been seeing around the community.  Now that I was capable of getting around, I figured I’d take a short walk and visit them all.  Near Morningstar, at a place where two paths crossed, I saw the unusual sight of two chicken 0f the woods growing right next to one another.  Image

Here’s a close-up of the one on the right.  In addition to being very tasty, they really are beautiful mushrooms.Image

As I went to investigate another one near Nashoba, I came across a whole mess of fawn mushrooms growing out of a pile of wood chips in a wood splitting yard.  It’s unusual this time of year to find ones this big with no insect damage; they must have just come up today.  A tasty find indeed. Unfortunately, a moment after I took this photo, I was stung on the hand by a wasp–nasty little beast!  I don’t even think I put my hand down on it, it was as though it just flew up to me and stung my hand out of sheer orneriness.  Image

Here’s my mystery mushroom of the day, which I’m guessing was the one folks had been telling me about.  It’s clearly not a chicken of the woods.  Its coloring looks like a hen-of-the-woods (maitake), but the overlapping lobes are much larger and less numerous than the photos of hen of the woods I’ve seen before.  Actually, after further internet research, I’m beginning to guess that it’s the Meripilus sumstinei, or the Black-Staining polyporeImage

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