August 27 – just another summer day…

A hot and humid late summer day, the sort of afternoon I’m not overfond of,.   I did my normal Tuesday tofu delivery, and arrived home in the early afternoon, taking my accustomed “scenic route” through the community to see what’s changed in the past couple of weeks.

Roma tomatoes in the garden– I’ve been told that this summer, with its dearth of hot sunny days, hasn’t been the greatest year for tomatoes, and already the crop looks to be past its peak. Image

Even the ivy growing over the haybales seems to be on its way out, looking all brown and withered on a hot dry day.Image

As I walked up from the courtyard, I took a bit of a tour through some of our cowfields, thinking about the meadow mushrooms that I had seen in the neighbor’s field the day before.  Had an idea that I might encounter some of them on our own fields, but, alas, they were not to be found this afternoon. Image

I did find a lot of this pretty purple wildflower, which looked vaguely like an aster, but probably isn’t.Image

Here’s a close-up of the flower.  Quite pretty.Image

From the fields, I made my way through the woods near the cemetery, dry leaves crackling underfoot.  I wasn’t running, or even walking especially fast, but before long I found myself drenched with sweat; it was a humid, oppressive day with a steely gray sky, not quite overcast and not quite sunny.  It definitely felt like we could use a good thunderstorm.

Here’s an interesting mushroom I found, which I can’t seem to identify with any of my guidebooks.  The darkish gills rule out an Amanita variety, and it looks like it might be one of the various edible Argarics, but I’m not quite sure.  Here’s what it looks like on top…Image

…and here’s the bottom of the same mushroom.  I’ll just have to do a bit more research, as I’ve found a few of them, and they seem like they might be good edibles.Image

The view from the top of the field.  Although we’re reaching the end of August, and we’ve had a few cool days this month, this particular day definitely looked and felt like summertime.Image

As I made my way home through the woods, I encountered several of these cute, orange-capped boletes poking through the leaves.  I’m not sure if they are just small mushrooms, or if they are just young and going to grow larger, but all the ones I saw seemed to be this size.Image

Boletes and chanterelles, familiar forest friends.  I thought about picking more, but the idea of turning on the stove seemed unappealing, so I decided against picking mushrooms that I probably wouldn’t get around to eating.Image

Not far from my house, I came across this enormous bolete, which I at first mistook for a turtle, as it was quite turtle-like in size and shape.   This is a species of bolete that is quite common around here, and has been frustratingly hard to identify.  It is somewhat similar in color to the bicolor bolete, although the pores are large and angular, and the whole thing turns blue immediately when you crack it open.  I haven’t found in any of my guidebooks a description that exactly matches this one.Image

As I reached my house, I thought to check in on the jack-o-lantern mushrooms that I had seen before my trip to New York.  I smelled them before I saw them, and they smelled nasty!  Then I saw them, and they looked so nasty too. Image

Disgusting!  Just looking at these pictures makes me remember the smell and makes me a bit queasy.Image

After that, I had to get a better taste in my mouth, so I went to check on our fig trees.  And I am pleased to say that fig season has officially begun.  There were many figs beginning to ripen, and it wasn’t hard to find a handful of choice ones that had come along far enough to be good eating.  We’ve got two enormous fig trees laden with fruit this year, and about four more that, although a bit smaller than their neighbors, are also bearing well.  I believe that I will be eating a lot of these over the next month.Image

I had been up late on Monday night, and working early; once I got home, I found myself able to catch a quick afternoon nap.  I awoke an hour later to the sound of heavy rainfall–we appeared to be getting the storm that we needed.  I checked the weather map and saw that we were in the midst of a small cell of heavy rain that passed directly over Twin Oaks, most of the rest of the county was dry, but right outside of my back door it looked like this:Image

The rain was pretty much just what we needed, and the rest of the day was a good 15 degrees cooler.  Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do a little hike on Wednesday and see what the rain has pushed up…



One response to “August 27 – just another summer day…

  1. The pretty flower is Blue Mistflower. Related to Joe Pye. A wonderful plant for native bees and flies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s