A Fungus Among Us

And so the Rain with a capital ‘R’ continues…ugh! We have come to the tough realization that the last month of incessant rains has not only brought much damage to the farm’s fields but also to the orchard. Several trees now have yellow leaves…signs of their drowning status. We have two fruit trees, a plum and a pear, that have already given up and sadly, I’m afraid that several more will follow.

With the fields and the orchard in such a state of demise, just what is it that flourishes in these wet conditions? Perhaps I need a crash course on mushrooms and various edible fungi!?!? They are sprouting up everywhere. If only I knew which ones to eat…we could possibly have a grand and colorful harvest after all! Here are some I photographed on my recent walk in the neighborhood. Isn’t nature grand?IMG_8343IMG_8344IMG_8342IMG_8356IMG_8357IMG_8355IMG_8346IMG_8349IMG_8347IMG_8350Thankfully, the blueberries are still producing and I’ve harvested a few ounces short of 100lbs so far with promise of more to come. The birds are still eager to get beyond the perimeter netting which is annoying but something is also getting to the birds that do! Here is a ‘nest’ of feather remains I found the other day inside one of the nets which makes me think that some poor bird was attacked while taking a snack. IMG_8121

I did have the most incredible experience while picking berries the other day and want to share it here. I saw a blue jay that got inside one of the rows of netted berries (which normally makes me irritated to see that the birds have compromised my system of berry protection) and his partner was perched outside the net on one of the corner posts. I looked up after being startled by their commotion and found that the bird inside the net had a berry in his beak and was “feeding” it to his partner outside the net! OMG! I was floored at this cooperative effort and watched this take place more than once! What a devoted pair of birds! It was worth sharing my harvest with them!

In other bird news…our barn swallows (absent so far this spring/summer) swooped in and reappeared today! Yeah! We are so excited to welcome them to the nest they built two years and occupied last year as well in the front porch entryway! Goodness knows, with all this moisture, there are plenty of mosquitoes for them to eat!

Here is one little guy, grandson Coulter, who is managing to eat at every opportunity! Here he is thinking about his dad’s ham and cheese sandwich! IMG_0038Knitting news to share: I worked on this sweater while at my mother’s bedside during her last weeks and completed it shortly after she died. I will enjoy wearing it and thinking of her since she helped me pick out the buttons (from my collection) just days before she passed. IMG_8188 (1)

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