A Walk in the Woods

It's been a wet summer. We decided to go for a Sunday morning walk this August 3rd. The almost-daily rain had not started yet... would not come for another 3 hours. The whole woods was moist and wonderful with leaf litter sun-dappled. The air smelled of fungus. Here are some snaps we took.

The first newt: I had promised we'd try to find one on our woods walk. There were so many dogs on the path I thought we should go into the woods a bit to find a newt. So veering off-track and heading toward a bright orange toadstool, we very soon found our quarry.


Almost immediately, my companion begged for another newt. I had my doubts. But we soon came across one right on the main path.


My companion then requested a third newt. I thought we were pretty lucky to have found two. As I was explaining this, we came upon #3. This one had a very long tail and was on its way somewhere.


Other things we saw: many stands of Indian-pipe. It was growing everywhere. I have always been rather fond of this chlorophyll-less plant. I like its other sometime name, "Ice plant." It does look like it will deliquesce in the hand if touched--right down to the beads of water clinging to its cold blossoms. My Peterson's Guide tells me it's related to wintergreen, and called monotropa uniflora.


Below: I was amazed to find these next to a stand of regular white Indian-pipe. Rather than a pure translucent white with single bell-like flower, these were cream-colored with multiple bells. Looked it up when I got home and it's a relative called "Pinesap" ( monotropa hypopithis).


Here is a little flash/without flash study. First, lovely white toadstools taken with flash. They're so bright that it works OK--they look like a "specimen."


But using flash in the woods makes everything look sorta artificial, so I try to get away with no flash. Usually things just turn out blurry, but with these white toadstools, the flashless effect is more a ghostly glow.


Here are some red toadstools with flash. These are moist and vibrant-colored. Use of flash makes them look like they've been caught in the act.

1 comment:

Alice said...

was your companion someone under the age of 3? the photos are incredible.