It's orange season in Vermont! You know, the time of year that you have to wear orange into the woods so you don't get shot at by hunters? It's currently bear, turkey, grouse, fox, deer, and rabbit season. Guns, bows, and traps, oh my! Now, I'm not a hunter and I live in a state forest, so I don't really know the rules and regulations here, but I like to be on the safe side. And I could hear shooting in the distance. But I wasn't going to let that deter me from hanging my trail cam near a game trail I found.
However, wearing orange doesn't keep me from being on edge the whole time. I don't prefer to explore the woods alone. If AGP isn't up for the adventure, I usually try to convince Tina, but she wasn't up to getting her paws wet today. So off into the woods I go on my merry way, set to bask in the whimsy of the forest and try not to get shot.
For solo expeditions, I like to take the time to frolic and play with my cameras. In my camera bag, I packed my macro lenses and hoods, waterproof camera, trail cam, water bottle, and waterproof bag for all my non-waterproof toys because I have to cross the brook and it is relatively raging this time of year.
I also make sure to wear my calculator watch so I can keep track of the time and do on-the-fly calculating!
I am on a huge biodiversity kick lately. I just want to identify everything. Sure, late fall might not be the best time for this hobby, but there is still a lot out there rocking the chilly weather and ready to name. I am particularly drawn to mosses these days. It must be because they are so easy to spot in the defoliated forest! But then again, they are sooo dang hard to identify.
Umm... any ideas?
Look! Artist's conk mushrooms! At least that I can identify. Apparently people use these as natural canvases for etching and painting. I don't super understand the appeal. The white band on these mushrooms are this year's new growth.
There are a lot of balsam fir saplings in my local woods. You can tell the difference between balsam fir and hemlock from the length of the needles. Balsam fir has longer, more delicate needles.
And of course there are the always odd looking Indian pipe flowers, also known as a corpse plant. These specimens are dead and the bulb at the top of the stem holds the seeds. See a photo of a living corpse plant here! As you can see, the living plant has a bent stalk (like a pipe) and becomes erect once it has been pollinated.
After enough exploring and leaf lounging, I made my way stealthily towards the game trail running I recently discovered running alongside the Burnt Meadow Brook, just a short walk from our house. I decided to hang the trail cam here to see what kind of wildlife (or human life!) might be frequenting our neighborwoods.
Interested in knowing what kinds of goodies I have captured on the trail cam so far? Check it out!
After stumbling across some paw prints and a flurry of blue jay feathers, I tricked myself into thinking I was being stalked by a fisher and high stepped it back to our banks and the safety of my house among the trees.