I let the dog out at 4:15am and it appears we got a dusting overnight. Yesterday I spent over 2 hours in the woods sans snow and took around 120 photos… enough to last for a handful of posts, anyway. When my daughter reviewed them with me, she asked, “How can you find so much color at this time of year?” So I guess I’ll start with the colorful collection…
More fungi, of course:
Turkey Tail Fungus (Trametes versicolor) is very abundant in the woods. It lives on dead or nearly dead trees, helping to break down the wood and return the nutrients to the soil. People don’t eat Turkey Tail even though it is non-poisonous because it is leathery and not very appetizing. That doesn’t seem to stop gray squirrels, box turtles, beetles, slugs, pillbugs, or gnats.
As the Latin name suggests, this fungus can be many different colors… tan, brown, green, maroon, orange, or blue. The orange ones really caught my eye yesterday!
Just as I entered the woods, I saw a flash of red. I assumed Partridgeberry. But no… I’m not sure what this is, and it’s not that great a photo for ID. Any guesses?
Now this is Partidgeberry (Mitchella repens) and as I got a little deeper into the woods, there was plenty of it! Partridgeberries are edible, but tasteless… so you might as well leave them for the deer and the birds. It is reported that a tea from the leaves of this plant was used by native Americans in the last few weeks of pregnancy to aid with the birth. This accounts for another common name: Squawvine. I read that here: <click>
Finally, I leave you with a leaf. I don’t know what kind it is. I loved the colors!