Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mushrooms Galore! White Hill Wild Forest Part 2

I was on my second hike in the White Hill Wild Forest with my four younger dogs and this time we were taking a new trail. It wasn't as scenic as the the trail we took the first time - except, that is, for the huge variety of mushrooms. They were everywhere and in an array of shapes and colors. This one looked to me like something left behind by space aliens:

And onward we hiked through the forest. I was looking for Rock Pond (not Little Rock Pond which was on a different trail - wouldn't you think they could be more creative when naming ponds?) but truly suspected we were on the wrong trail and wouldn't find it. Well, there was nothing to be done at that point but to keep hiking and see what we would find:

The most common mushroom was a kind of ghoulish, cadaverous gray variety, many of which retained bits of the leaf litter through which they'd pushed their way up as they grew. I noted their eerie, ubiquitous presence just as a cool wind began to blow through the trees. Was this a haunted forest?:

Another mushroom, a toasted brown with upturned edges:

We came to a wooden bridge, charming in its way but perhaps a bit extravagant and out of place for a "Wild Forest:"

More mushrooms, some a rich mahogany:

And some a kind of peachy, buttery yellow - or perhaps I should describe it as butterscotch:

The trail was broad and level and easy to walk but felt so neglected and isolated as to be a bit eerie. But it was well marked, so we kept hiking:

And the forest was lovely. The cool breeze ended and the weather became hot and sticky. Mosquitoes and deer flies began to bite me and I spent much time swatting at them:

This odd plant was common. I'd seen it before but didn't know what it was. It was perhaps 6" tall and looked like a giant moss. I've since Googled it and think it was Shining Clubmoss, Lycopodium lucidulum, a relative of the Princess Pines which also grew there in abundance:

In spite of the mosquitoes, deer flies, humidity and hot temperatures, we were on a hike and I was going to make the best of it. We kept hiking onward. I'll post more tomorrow:

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