Archive for February, 2015

I’m Back — Finally

I’m so excited to have my computer back and to be back online!

We had snow, then a heavier snow, then freezing rain and then sleet. This translated into my not leaving the property for two weeks. I want to keep my person in one piece.

Heavy rain is forecast for Tuesday with highs in the 50’s. I can’t wait. Here are a few of the pictures I took during this time.

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I took this picture last night about sunset. The snow/sleet was pretty firm, and I seldom broke through as I walked.

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Obviously, momma fox is pregnant! More about the foxes in a later blog.

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Jelly fungi hydrated from all the moisture.

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The layer of sleet fascinated me with the patterns it made.

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A couple days of warmer weather started melting the snow/sleet from underneath too.

Only See Fox Signs

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Eight inches of snow fell Monday into early Tuesday.

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It was late morning before a fox left the den. It headed toward the back corner of our yard where there’s an opening under our neighbor’s fence.

The temperature was low and the wind strong. I didn’t linger over each shot … obviously.

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The glare was so bad I couldn’t see what was on the camera’s display. I just took several pictures, hoping for the best.

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Poor Buffy. She couldn’t get under the barn where the intruders live.

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I added this picture so we could see the fox I didn’t see.

To The Woods …

We finally had a sunny day, so Buffy and I went to the woods at Stone Face.

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The caddisfly is a small moth-like insect. Their larvae collect whatever they can and bind it together for a protective case to grow in.  These were 1/4 inch long at the most. They will continue adding on until they’re full grown.

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Water movement and the resulting moving reflections always fascinate me.

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Every time I see these two trees, I wish they were in my backyard. Grandkids would have a lot of fun with them. Wildlife probably couldn’t resist them either.

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Corky warts on bark of a hackberry tree look like a city of futuristic buildings.

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I was unable to identify the shelf fungi. It had a smooth surface underneath.

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Obviously, this tree stood out! I have no idea what removed all the bark almost to the top of it. There were only a few small limbs at the top of the tree.

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The bark pieces at the base of the tree would’ve been only a small fraction of what was removed. It had to have been a determined mammal! This translates to a lot of bark removed and transported to ???

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Somehow this nondescript moss and script lichen caught my attention. Is the script lichen a messenger for the plant world?

A Mystery Mushroom

 I just had to go on a hike and ended up returning to the site of the the mystery mushrooms I found the end of January and recently blogged.

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The picture shows that these are shelf mushrooms and that they do curl upward as they age.

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These few had just started curling.

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They were scattered along a log approximately 9-10 feet long.

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The top surfaces looked slightly velvety.

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I plan to study the few mushroom books, hoping to identify them this time.

No luck.

A Napping Fox

I didn’t see the foxes during our last two days of cloudy weather.

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It’s convenient to have my computer by the picture window that overlooks our backyard.

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The sun is out, the wind calm, and the 42-degree temperature must feel warmer on the piece of conveyor  belt.

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A little grooming.

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Now that’s a yawn!

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And then she just couldn’t stay awake any longer in the warm sunshine.

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This picture was taken later, and I suspect this one’s the male. Its color seems darker than the fur of the one in the other pictures.

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The sun just set. The male fox is still curled up asleep. The temperature’s now down to 40.

An Interesting Stick

Our weather finally turned off nice for a change, and I found myself picking up sticks in the yard.

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 I picked up a stick under the sweet gum tree and found two surprises underneath — a small shelf fungi and a slug. The shelf fungi was so small I couldn’t see if the underneath side was smooth or had pores.

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There was no shortage of lichens on the fallen wood. My Missouri book “Walk Softly Upon the Earth” calls this a blister lichen (Physcia stellaris). My “Lichens of the North Woods” book calls it a star rosette lichen.

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Then I found these yellow-green lichens.

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It looked like they’re more yellow when they were young. The black had me confused, because it looked more like a crust than like the top of the smooth black ones above.

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I do get frustrated at times when I’m trying to identify a find and can’t.

For me it’s more of a matter of learning to see, find and enjoy.

The Foxes Are Baaack!

… and I hope they’re here to stay, at least for a few months.

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Buffy and I were in the backyard earlier this morning, and she didn’t act like the foxes were under the barn.

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 There’s an old strip pit behind our house, and I suspect they have a den there too.

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 I take all the fox pictures from inside the house because of the layout of our backyard.

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Obviously, this is the female (vixen). Notice the slight “baby bump.”

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She got back up on their observation platform and napped before going back under the barn.