Photographic Challenge

IMG_5515

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) grew in clusters along the side of a fallen, long-dead tree.

IMG_5542

For a picture of their gills, I held the camera upside down, focused and snapped the picture.

IMG_5544

It was fun and had surprising results.

White Mushroom

I seem to be developing a knack for finding things I can’t identify.

IMG_5019

These mushrooms commonly grew in a low damp area on … I’m not sure on what kind of wood. I took the pictures  on November 30.

IMG_5013

At first they looked to me like mushrooms that had curled inside-out as they aged.

IMG_5016

And, as of this posting, I still have no idea what they are.

A Fungus and a Lichen

Before I get started on this blog, I want to say that I’m a highly visual person. I find photography quite frustrating! For some reason I just don’t understand or retain most of the information.

IMG_6479

I was working in the yard this morning and took this picture of the mushroom and lichen with my Canon PowerShot. The sun hadn’t come around yet to hit the subjects.

IMG_6157

I took this picture on January 9th and didn’t get around to starting the blog until this morning (14th). Obviously, this picture was taken in the sunlight. The colors in this and the above picture differ so much. I don’t use the automatic setting, because the pictures come out too light.

IMG_6486

So, I took another picture after the hazy sunlight moved over to this side of the branch. All three of these pictures were cropped.

IMG_6474

This shows the pores on the underneath side of the mushroom.

 I’ve had no luck identifying these mushrooms.

The lichen is a blister lichen (Physcia stellaris).

Cause For Celebration!

Fossil hunting offers a wide variety of possibilities.

IMG_5954 alt crop red

Trilobites shed their armor six to eight times during their life. This translates into finding their sheds (which are never common). Trilobite fossils are found in limestone, shale and dolomite in Illinois. Most of mine are from limestone.

IMG_5902 red

The oldest ones in Illinois come from Cambrian age rocks 500 million years old. Trilobites went extinct 250 million years ago.

IMG_5962 alt red

 Over years and years of fossil hunting, I found several partial trilobite fossils.  I never expected the possibility of finding a whole one.

IMG_6190 sm

Then there, one sunny afternoon, on the the shale of a small outcrop, near the top of a hill, by a lake, lay this 7/8 inch trilobite.

My “whoop” echoed through the hills!

—————

Keith, my son, went to a Sierra Club seminar on Paleozoic monsters recently. Joseph Drevian, from USGS, gave the program. He found a partial trilobite from the same outcrop where I found my whole one. Keith sent him a picture of the one I found.

My trilobite is from the Grove Church member of the Kincaid limestone, part of Elviran Stage Chester series of the Missisippi system. It is a proetid trilobite  named Paladin sp.

Boy, that’s a mouthful.

————

I searched and searched until I found pictures of the shale outcropping where I found the trilobite.

IMG_6159

That’s my mother fossil hunting on the slope.

IMG_6160

This last picture shows the whole shale area. Horses later moved their trail to down through the shale. Then a major flood in 2008 completely changed the landscape, and I haven’t been back since.

A Fox Sign

I had a couple of things to do in the backyard this morning. As usual, Buffy went with me. I started toward the catalpa tree and came to an area that smelled strong like skunk, only not skunk. It was fox. One had marked its territory in our backyard! Luckily, the smell finally dissipated.

IMG_4713 blog

So, obviously, the foxes plan to den under the barn again. The above picture shows Buffy one evening two years ago, waiting for the foxes to appear.

IMG_4714

From that look on her face, it was obvious she wanted me to help her evict them. Red foxes breed late January into February in southern Illinois. Gestation period is 51 days.

It’s looking good so far for the future possibility of little ones running around.

My fingers are crossed.

The Magic of Ice, Part 2

The ice’s imagination has no bounds.

IMG_6271

I wonder if the creatures were involved in the designing?

IMG_6273

It’s like magic happened overnight.

IMG_6282

Will this life form swim away?

IMG_6288

The myriad of designs in this section of the creek would be beyond comprehension without the picture.

IMG_6315

Obviously, there are endless possibilities for ice compositions.

IMG_6320

I think I walked up on a secret meeting of the ice spirits.

IMG_6327

The characters and shapes in the ice differ with each freeze.

That’s why I always make an effort to visit this small creek when the conditions are right for ice.

… I wonder if they enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed them?

The Magic of Ice, Part One

Designs in ice always fascinate me. A recent cold spell created both dramatic and delicate designs.

IMG_6219

The creek is a small wet-weather creek with a rocky bottom.

IMG_6222

A closer look shows intricate designs within the designs.

IMG_6226

Contributing shapes and the flow of the water seem to have quite an imagination.

IMG_6240

A larger area makes a larger “canvas” for the masterpiece.

IMG_6246

Nooks crowd designs within their confines.

IMG_6262

Some look like they’d break just from the wind’s breath.

IMG_6268

I haven’t decided what this figure resembles.

IMG_6271

Ebb and flow, as the creatures create themselves.

———-

I’ll post part 2 of this ice blog series on Wednesday, the 21st.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 191 other followers