Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lots More Mushrooms, Hiking The Jug End Ridge

What a marvelous and beautiful hike it'd been so far, with some of the most beautiful, even mysterious forests I'd ever seen. The dogs and I had passed through lowland trail flooding, the result of Tropical Storm Irene the previous day - and we'd climbed up onto Jug End Ridge with its piney aromas, sunny warmth and lovely vistas out over the Berkshire Mountains. I snapped this picture of all four dogs on the trail just before it dropped sharply downhill into the valley below:

And all along the route I'd encountered a huge variety of mushrooms. This one was a sort of buckskin color and looked quite happy surrounded by moss:

We were on our way back to the car and had reached the lowlands were the trails were wet and often flooded. But Seamus saw that as an opportunity for a cool drink of water:

I'd only seen one purple mushroom and had almost given up finding any others when I notice this pair - one purple and one red. Indeed, it felt like a magical landscape:

Little Daphne stood at point when she heard some noise off in the forest:

A new kind of mushroom, this one looking like dark leather ruffles:

And two more purple mushrooms! I'd learned the hard way that the tops of these were very sticky and trying to remove sticks from them damaged the mushroom caps. So this time I left them alone and just snapped a photo:

Some enormously enterprising crew had positioned large square edged boulders into a set of steps leading up a hill. Fergus ran up them right away and then looked back at the rest of us slow-pokes:

More stones set into the bank and Seamus went ahead this time:

This odd pair of mushrooms looked exactly like the interior of a rotted log. I wonder if that had some sort of evolutionary value? They grew on the ground, not on a log:

Another "stairway," this one built of logs set into the hillside. The trail had been quite wild and unimproved, so these amenities were a sure sign that we were nearing the trail head. But I'll post more tomorrow:

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