Along the Air Line... 2002 - September, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 


Rains and cooler weather have caused a number of mushrooms to emerge.
This is Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), one of a very deadly group of fungi. Ironically, Fly Agaric is the mushroom most often used to illustrate children's
fairy stories. A Grimm choice?

Another member of the genus, Amanita virosa - with a white cap - is called "Destroying Angel." (I'm not certain this is it, but it's similar.)

Purple-bloom Russula (Russula mariae).

Old Man of the Woods (Strobilomyces floccopus).

Birch Polypore, or Birch Conk (Piptoporus betulinus).

The underside of the Birch Polypore is a pure white surface when fresh.
You can draw on the surface with a stylus and over time your marks will darken, leaving an image...

...like this. (I drew this roughly 15 years ago, working from a greeting card image that was popular at the time.)

Poke, or Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) in flower...

...and in fruit. These are the berries that stain our clothes when we brush against them, or pass through birds and are deposited on our cars, lawn chairs, etc.

False Solomon's-Seal (Smilacina racemosa) berries in a terminal cluster.

The berries vary from pale speckled pink...

...to bright red.

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is a member of the Holly genus, though you would never guess it from the leaves. The berries persist after the leaves fall and are often used in seasonal decorations.

The obvious feature of this photo is the Jack-in-the-Pulpit fruit cluster - but that's not the point of the photo. Note the segmented bamboo-like stalks to the left and right. These are the stems of Scouring Rush (Equisetum hyemale), an ancient plant. The ribbed stems contain silica and were once used by our colonial predecessors to scour their pots.

Ladies-tresses Orchids (Spiranthes sp.) Inconspicuous plants, only six or eight inches high where I found them in Raymond Brook Marsh.

Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) is a member of the Snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). Can you see the resemblance to garden snapdragons?
Can you see a resemblance to a turtle's head?

Not all Goldenrods (Solidago sp.) are yellow. Quite a few of them blooming
now are white, or nearly white.

This is a Rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes sp.), one of several close relatives
to wild lettuce.

 

 


September 29th dawned with the mist rising over Raymond Brook Marsh.
Here a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) perches patiently.


And I wait patiently through this 'tween time - with summer certainly over and autumn still
approaching tentatively.