One day we are in the yard under green trees in shorts and tank tops and on the next, there are leaves peppering the yard and a very distinct chill in the air.
Welcome autumn, that bittersweet time of the year that, while beautiful and humbling, heralds another winter in Vermont. With this many leaves on the ground it's getting harder to ignore any longer. Although, the pure autumnal delight of life beneath the vibrant, transitioning canopy is the gem in the impending cold cup of coffee!
Oh look! Blackberries, ya'll. The forest is full of them and their yummy, scratchy ilk. Aside from eating them sun kissed and straight from the bush, they are also excellent turned into custard and stuffed into glazed donuts. Then again, what isn't?
Are you as passionate about native New England orchid species as I am? I was stoked to stumble across this beautiful Case's lady's tresses specimen on a frequently trod path of mine. So far I have found three species of New England orchids, but my plan is to totally step up my game next summer.
These stunning white berries are of the White Baneberry and are not to be messed with. Be very careful, consumption of the berries can cause cardiac arrest!
And this lumpiness? An aborted entoloma, Entoloma abortivum. It is supposedly edible, but I honestly don't know enough about this 'shroom to take a chance. What's cool about this fungus is that it comes in two forms: this aborted form and a more recognizable gilled form. Jury is still out on who is parasitizing who in this special fungal case.
These odd beauties are known as Indian Pipes or Corpse Flowers. Spooky, right? Actually they do look a bit creepy pushing their waxy white heads up from the forest floor. These legit flowers are saprophytic, which means instead of using chlorophyll like most green plants, they get their energy from dead and decaying plants beneath the soil, like little plant zombies.
Pearly everlastings are one of my favorite wildflowers. And like their namesake precious mineral, finding them in a meadow or field is a lot like finding treasure.
Eastern American toad. Need I say more? *Croak*
Happy early fall!