Sunday, June 1, 2008

Slugs and ferns

It rained heavily during the night but had pretty much stopped when I got up this morning, and it had warmed up. The morning was cool and misty. I went out with my camera and took some close-up pictures of ferns and moss, and also of a small slug eating a mushroom.

At first I had the flash on and after a couple of photos the slug was a little disconcerted and hiding his head under the mushroom. But after a while he re-emerged and started eating again and I took a couple of photos without the flash.

I picked a couple of fern fronds to try to identify them, one was easy, the Long Beech Fern (Thelypteris phegopteris), but the other was hard but I think it was a Lady Fern (Athyrium Felix-femina). I found a frond from last year of the fern and it had the fruiting bodies, which turned out to be horseshoe-shaped, an indicator for the Lady Fern. I also found some Oak Ferns (Thelypteris phegopteris) growing nearby, very beautiful little ferns. Their shape makes me think of a big smile, like all these little ferns are just grinning from ear to ear.

I saw one Lupin flower stalk with little purple flowers at the bottom. There are many Lupins (Lupinus polyphyllus) along the road here, but only a few flower buds. Mike told me about some trilliums growing by the old stained glass workshop and I found those, the flowers have already bloomed and there is little left of them. The lady's slipper flower buds are getting to look more and more like flowers, they should be open very soon.

I looked up the different kinds of maples that live here. There are four: Striped, Sugar, Red and Silver. So far I have seen the first three, I don't think there are any Silver Maples in these woods. The Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) really does have whitish stripes on the young branches and trunk. the Red Maple (Acer rubrum) has reddish tinged new leaves and bright red twigs. Young Red Maples even have reddish trunks.

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