Sunday, July 30, 2017

Whiskey Flats State Forest - Part 2

The dogs and I were hiking a trail in Whiskey Flats State Forest (see also Part 1, posted yesterday), where most of the ground was carpeted in mosses and lichens:

We took a side trip into a stand of pines and the dogs ran joyously over the mossy ground, dodging tree trunks as they explored:

They were having a grand time:

I saw these two examples of what appeared to be two varieties of Reindeer Lichen. I looked them up online when I got home, and though I learned that there are at least three species, I didn't find much more information. Nonetheless, they are fascinating:

Clover, almost always the leader of the pack, went ahead to explore:

And then Fergus joined her. Notice all the dead small trees. I thought at the time that a big wind storm or snowfall must have been the cause, but now wonder if it was further evidence of the pine false webworm infestation:

We saw a number of stands with such thick moss carpets that I couldn't resist. This is natural beauty of the first order:

Daphne and Seamus thought it was beautiful too:

I was looking at mosses when I saw these little pink dots. I had seen them in a nature blog I follow, so I looked it up when I got home. I thought they were jelly molds, but instead I learned that they were Pink Earth Lichen. The surrounding moss was more Brocade Moss:

And innumerable Pink Ladyslipper plants were growing in the moss. It must have been lovely when they were all blooming. Perhaps I need to return to this trail next year when it's Ladyslipper season:

We continued down the trail but kept taking side trips into inviting areas:

The thick carpets of moss beneath tall pines were the biggest draws for me. But we weren't done yet, and I'll post Part 3 tomorrow:

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