Without a daily blog project I've been letting photos build up a long time: these are from a walk we went on in the Stony Brook Reservation on July 8th. This is one of the only mushrooms I've seen all summer.
Not far away, feeding on the sugars shared between tree and fungus, are a group of ghost flowers, or monotrope.
These parasites need no chlorophyll, so dot the forest with ghostly white instead of green.
A distant relative in the same family, striped Pipsissewa is found from Canada to Panama, but is endangered across some of its range.
The plant is sometimes called striped wintergreen, or more confusingly, spotted wintergreen. Some government agencies have taken to calling it "striped Prince's Pine" in the misguided idea that this is somehow less confusing.
It's nice to realize that there are still unseen places to discover in a city as small as Boston; I've lived here since August of 1987. This is a chunk of the Stonybrook Reservation that at least one community group would like to see renovated and converted into a dog park.
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On Sunday we took both dogs on a walk in the woods (the Stony Brook Reservation--the southmost part of the city of Boston). We hadn't done that in literally months, possibly years. They had a great time sniffing everything, then when we came home they sacked out HARD. Alexis had to wake them up to feed them dinner, then they fell right back asleep.
I took a walk with Charlie yesterday in the Stony Brook Reservation. With my camera out of commission I've been using my phone to take pictures. I got a self-timer app to take photos like this. Since it was overcast and raining with very low light conditions, most of my pictures are terrible.
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Saturday: Narcissus is my Co-pilot.
Yesterday I gave two presentations to two different groups at the zoo. I spoke to a gathering of zoo volunteers, who were being appreciated with baked goods and snacks, and gave them a presentation about the zoo hospital. They all got to take home potted mini-daffodils. I brought one home for Alexis and some for my volunteers.
The other group I spoke to was our second annual Science and Conservation day attendees. Our keynote speaker was the leader of the North American Species Survival Plan for Gorillas; I learned that her hardest challenge was the fact that an equal number of male and female gorillas are born, but the ideal gorilla collection is one male and multiple females. She advocated strongly for bachelor groups--young males can be put in pairs or small groups and grow up together, and outgrow the high-testosterone years (15-20), and live peacefully as mature males. We have a bachelor pair that is on exhibit every other day, with the females.
After she spoke, there were a group of us who work at Zoo New England who made short presentations: Our head of horticulture spoke about our efforts to support the recovery of the Karner blue butterfly in New Hampshire, the assistant curator of Bird's World talked about his 15 year study of spotted turtles in the Stonybrook reservation, and my presentation was about what I do to reduce pesticide use in the zoo's pest control program.
Walking with Charlie in the Stonybrook Reservation. For some reason LJ would not let me post this through the mobile app. I kept getting an error message "no connection to file server" whatever that means. Once it told me that there wasn't enough space on the hard drive (on my phone?) so I deleted a bunch of photos. No dice.
I went to Allston with the intention of setting up my 3:00 snapshot to be a picture of Ron Jeremy, who was making an in-store appearance promoting his brand of rum. (Why does this sound like I'm describing a dream? This really happened.) There was a very short wait to meet him, so it all happened rather early. I headed home and at five minutes until three went to Turtle Pond and set up this self-timer photo.
I pulled over again, just at the turn to my street. This swampy meadow is actually drainage ditch. I wanted to show how pretty it is even in mundane spots like this. I was going to get a photo of the roadside, but just as I got out of my car, a fire engine and a police cruiser pulled over; there was a lady walking along the road and the firefighters and cops went over to talk to her. Maybe she had something happen and called 911? I ducked back toward the drainage ditch because I didn't want the emergency personnel to think I was trying to photograph the situation.
On our way to the Urban Nature Walk at Malibu Beach I saw Turtle Pond and made a snap decision to pull over. The red maples are changing color and it's starting to look pretty amazing.
Along one edge you can see the smaller understory trees yellowing up too.
But for beautiful fall color I only had to look at the top of a wooden post, where British soldier lichens matched the nearby shrubs red for red.
On Sunday, Alexis and I took Charlie and Albee to Turtle Pond. It was pretty warm but not as hot as it has been earlier in the summer. The Pond had many bathers in attendance, some of whom appear to be riding Charlie's head.
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As luck would have it, when it was time to take yesterday's snapshot I was hanging out of my second story window (trying to fix a loose piece of siding that yellow jackets nested under last year) and I had my new camera with me.
( What might I take pictures of with a new camera? Dogs? Lichen? Drainage conduit? Urban Nature? Click to see! )
This is the end of the walk. Charlie is really freaked out by stopping to take this snapshot. Or by my insistence that he sit down and look at the camera, that I'm holding with one hand and pointing at his face. Come look at some mushrooms I found in the Stony Brook Reservation, the southernmost park that is in the city of Boston.
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Ten days ago I took Charlie for a walk in the Stony Brook Reservation, and the woodland wildflowers were starting to come up. This is starflower (Trientalis borealis). Starflower blossoms are seven-pointed stars, pollinated by native bees (not honeybees).
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Taking a look around the Stony Brook Reservation we noticed it was unusually dry: the little swamp I usually photograph was a mud puddle. Here what should be a lush carpet of moss is cracking as the soil below it dries and splits.
Here's something I haven't seen before: turkey tail mushrooms (apparently fresh, from whenever the last rains were) emerging from a burnt log.
Winter is gone, cry the pussy willows as they explode into flower.