Major aside here:
So I'm not gonna sugar-coat this, folks. A lot has happened in the last five years. Five major moves; a family fractured; and again (because once wasn't traumatic enough); a lovely degenerative medical condition that makes typing a fun challenge; and time continuing on despite my protests.
But I digress.
So let us journey back to the summer of 2016...
where life finds us back at our usual stomping grounds; enjoying the usual scenery:
A tree frog frolics among the forest foliage
My fungi fetish continued. Here's Dead Man's Fingers Mushrooms, which have the bonus quality of looking like a face:
Mighty millipedes multiplying:
It seemed the more time we spent roaming the woods, the more tolerant the natives grew of us. The icing on that cake appeared one sunny June eve when we spotted something new just off the path:
The kiddos were worried that it was alone or abandoned, but I assured them it appeared healthy and well fed and Mother was certainly nearby.
Deep sighs at the tranquil lake
and of course we stopped to appreciate the flowers
Shadows take selfies, too.
The science nerd in me loves pointing out the efficiency of the golden ratio in something as simple as the flowers
Our local First Responders hosted a Bike Rodeo for the community's kids to have fun and learn the rules of the road while biking safely. Here's Anna, Rosa, and a nervous Ella signing up for their turn on the course:
The emergency helicopter was even brought in for a landing so the kids could see it up close. We had a friend who got a "free ride" in it a couple years ago when he had a heart attack. He proclaims it noisy but fast. Got him to the cities in record time. And his ticker was fixed up good as new.
The girls each had a go at sitting inside. I recommended that this be the only time they sit in an emergency copter. Here's Anna:
Anna and Rosa:
Ella's the pilot, natch.
Rosa has a go:
Rodeo time! Ella completed the course and got her free safety helmet:
Anna aced it, too.
We toured the ambulance: (fun side note: Shannon just cannot say that word correctly, so she refers to it as the paramedics. Sigh.)
How to get to the injured in the wilderness? Rural Minnesotans have their ways...
The million dollar toys are more fun, though:
Anna's turn at the wheel:
It's all good here!
Why are fire trucks so spendy? Just look at all the bells and whistles! Even the ladder can be run via remote control:
Anna gives it a go:
Ella likes being in control. Can you tell?
Human made stuff is cool, but nature is just in a whole league of it's own...
I mean, yeah, it's clover. Some say it's a weed... others a herb... rabbit's love the stuff, at any rate. We happen to think it's nifty as well.
I love flowers that come in pre-made bouquets, like the humble Clover. Or this vibrant Butterfly Weed.
Phlox isn't just pretty, it's fun to spell.
Here's some in white:
And the pink again: Go ahead. Tell someone you saw some pink phlox. It's fun seeing the variety of reactions non-gardeners will give.
Those that know me know my humor. And my total obsession with Minions.
The town birds planted this Nightshade along our garage fence. I find it rather lovely.
My flowers have folded. I'm calling their bluff.
Life be like:
Mushrooms are my muse.
These little guys are just so intricate and mysterious. Perhaps this dates the author here, but I was taught along these lines:
In antiquity, the two lineages of animals and plants were recognized. They were given the taxonomic rank of Kingdom by Linnaeus. Though he included the fungi with plants with some reservations, it was later realized that they are quite distinct and warrant a separate kingdom, the composition of which was not entirely clear until the 1980s. The various single-cell eukaryotes were originally placed with plants or animals when they became known.
That's right, folks. I'm so old that when I went to school they didn't know what the heck to even classify fungus as. Some years, I was taught plant. Others, animal. At least by high school they were teaching us they didn't have a clue. But by then I already had figured that one out. And not just regarding the proper placement of mushrooms.
Nature has my view of man-made boundaries:
Some would cheekily say that that tree had balls:
Anyway, back to the fungus among us...
These ones were tiny but no less impressive.
The secret of mushroom hunting in the woods: Find a stream. Wet forest foliage fosters fantastic fungi. Grammar teachers everywhere smile with appreciation. The rest of you are most likely cringing. My mission is complete.
Always take time to smell the flowers. Just don't inhale the spiders.
Kind of looks like someone left their brain behind. Or their cauliflower.
Speaking of things left behind...
Let's hope this had a happy ending.
My brain has scenes like this on loop to get me through the long winters. Tranquil deep sighs...
I treasure those rare times when one can detect no human presence. It's getting trickier and trickier to do with all the communication towers and such popping up in even the most rural of areas.
Ugly or not, this bird has won my utmost respect.
But this day's wander was all about the fungus among us...
Another day, another outing. A picnic under the trees is always refreshing.
Ella loves it when we make some s'mores, but loves those toxic fruit snacks as well. Evidentially either one fuels her tree climbing body.
So we are into making desserts that look like they're not. So here's my "pizza." The crust is sugar cookie; the sauce frosting. The cheese is shaved white chocolate, with some dyed orange via food coloring. The toppings are fruit snacks.
Ella wasn't so sure about it at first, but once she actually took a bite, she declared it delicious.
There's something about s'mores that's so appealing to the pyro lurking inside of us all...
Have no fear. We always make sure our fires are properly extinguished before moving on with our wandering.
Big brothers. They are just fountains of useful knowledge. Have you hugged your big brother today?
And what a wondrous wander it was. Busy bees beautified blossoms:
Ripe raspberries radiated ruddy red:
Cuddly cottontails calmly contemplated:
web weavers were wondrous:
Advice: aview alleteration as advancing adoration.
What do we need more of?...
Here! Bet you don't find many of these deep in your woods, do you? Ha!
And yes, for the record, that was put into my knapsack and properly disposed of. Humans. I tell ya. Such litterbugs.
Now here's a true sweetpea:
These are Red Bane. A half dozen will make you really ill. Good thing they taste awful. So listen to your mother, and not "reality" television. Don't eat the berries!
Ditto on the mushrooms. Leave that to the experts. Of one I am most definitely not. I don't pick. Just shoot and leave them. It's best for all involved.
This is as close to shooting a deer as you'll ever see me doing as well.
I think this is Sheep Sorrel. Lovely things, weeds. Really.
But sunset will always be my crème de la crème:
We'll end our June 2016 with a bouquet of lush lilies:
And one mimicking the setting sun:
Next journey? July!