Mushroom Hunt Pictures – Larch Cones

Larches do not throw off just the cones, but whole twigs. So during a dry spell, the forest floor under larches is just like a huge tinderbox just waiting to burst into flames. That may be one reason why larches also have very thick bark that is capable of resisting flames for quite a long time, similarly to the bark of for example sequoias or cork oaks.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Jack’s Walk

A mayapple masquerading as the sun. ©voyager, all rights reserved

I’m confused. I posted a Jack’s Walk yesterday (July 8/20) that has disappeared. I’m sure it was published, and I’m pretty sure that Jazzlet made a comment, but it’s all gone, and I can’t find it anywhere. It was about Bubba getting older, and this photo topped it. Did anyone see it, or was I just dreaming? It shows up in my stats for yesterday, but when I try to open it, all I get is error 404 – not found. It isn’t in drafts or under my published articles, and I don’t have my rough copy any longer. It’s all very strange, and I have no idea how to get it back.

No matter, really. It was just me trying to say hello and explain that Jack and I are having fewer adventures because it’s been bloody hot, and Jack’s activity tolerance is low. What I wanted to say but didn’t is that I’ve been reluctant to write this column because it seems silly when I look at the state of the world. I should be writing about racism, police violence, the rise of fascism, the pandemic or a host of other important issues, but anything I say would only be opinion. There are many talented writers here at Freethought Blogs who understand the issues so much better than me and write brilliantly about them. I feel honoured to be among them but suffer from a bit of imposter syndrome.

When I joined Caine’s team in 2016, my goals were simple – help a friend and share my love of nature and dogs. After Caine died, it also became essential to me to hold together the community she created and to keep her legacy alive. That is still my focus, and I’ve been thinking that perhaps a bit of happy patter might be welcome for a few readers who want a quick respite from the weight of the world. So, silly or not, Jack and I will continue to share our small adventures and hope that they don’t disappear again.

Bubba says hi and wants me to tell you that “it’s the heat, not my age that has me slowed down.” I hope he’s right because he’s my bubbly, bubbly Bubbs.

Jack’s Walk

A mayapple masquerading as the sun. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, hello there. It’s been a while since Jack and I were here, and we hope you’ve all been keeping well. I don’t know about the weather where you are, but ours has been hellishly hot and dry. It’s been difficult for Jack to get exercise because he still has a lot of hair to shed, despite daily brushing and he overheats quickly. Mostly, though, he’s just getting old. My Bubba is 12 now, and this summer, for the first time, I see the weight of those years hanging on him. He’s slower, fatigues quickly, and he’s lost his delightful prancing gait.

Despite the physical changes, Jack’s attitude remains cheerful, and he still wants to play and go for adventures. I’ve been worried, though, that he couldn’t make it all the way around any of our trials, so we’ve been taking shorter walks just around the block. This helps meet Jack’s physical needs, but not his emotional ones, so this morning I got up at the crack of dawn, fed Jack, packed a large thermos of water and a smaller one of coffee, grabbed my camera and keys and took the boy out to Trillium Woods. That’s a 1 km looped trail with several benches along the path, and it’s Jack’s favourite walk. The entire route is shaded by giant trees, and I crossed my fingers that Bubba could make it from bench to bench and back to the car, and he did! We went slowly and took water at each bench stop, but Jack really struggled to make it up the hill at the end of the trail. We stopped twice for him to catch his breath, and I was getting concerned that bringing him was a bad idea, but one plodding foot after another, Jack finally made it to the top where he beamed with happiness and contentment. Next time, we’ll walk in the other direction, which puts the hilly section at the beginning of the walk, instead of the end. For now, Jack is blissfully sleeping, and I feel like the luckiest mommy in the world because I get to be his mommy.

Mushroom Hunt Pictures – The Finale

Yes, this series is starting at its end, in my kitchen.

Today I took a day off of knifemaking. And by that I mean completely day off, I tried to not even think about knives (at which I failed). I went on a long walk to the forest to look if there are some mushrooms to collect. And there were, enough for me and my father to have a big lunch and a whole bunch that was cooked and put into the freezer for future use.

I did take my camera with me, but we already had a series of mushroom species. And anyway, what I collected was about 90%  blushers and other species were sparse or not there at all yet – the true season comes in August/September.

Blushers are one of those mushrooms that have their own very specific taste – a bit like meat. So the recipe that I have used was very simple – I chopped them up, salted them, added a bit of cumin, basil, oregano, and a tiny amount of ground pepper bolete. Then I softened some onion on lard, added the mushrooms and I stewed them for at least thirty minutes with frequent stirring until most of the water was gone.

So if you cannot expect pictures of mushrooms, what can you expect? Well, I made random pictures of flowers and roadside stuff that I will post one-two a day until I am done. Unfortunately, there were not that many interesting insects around either, but that might be because I was looking for mushrooms, not for bugs. Do not expect some great art, but some of those pictures would look quite good as a screen background, in my opinion.

The Art of Book Design: Everything for the Garden

Everything for the Garde, Peter Henderson and Co., 1904 catalogue (front cover)

Everything for the Garde, Peter Henderson and Co., 1904 catalogue (back cover)

This is a beautiful catalogue with many delightful full-page coloured illustrations. You can see the whole thing at the link below.

via: The Internet Archive

Jack’s Walk

Bloodroot, ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been a while since Jack and I shared photos of the spring wildflowers. In part, that’s because our favourite trail has been closed due to the pandemic, and in part due to bad weather. It’s been cold and damp, with bursts of snow and freezing rain, and neither Jack nor I have felt much like going out. We did make it to a different forest a few days ago, though, and that’s when these photos were taken. We didn’t find as many flowers as we do on our usual trail, but our usual trail is through a wildflower preserve, so I’m not sure if it’s because of the weather or just the normal condition of this forest. Even though we didn’t find lots of flowers, we did find most of our favourites. The one flower I couldn’t find was the red trillium.

We’ll be back on Wednesday with the story of Oma Troutchen’s homecoming, accompanied by a wonderful picture of Oma sent to us by someone special.

Mayapples, ©voyager, all rights reserved

White Trillium, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Trout Lily, ©voyager, all rights reserved