Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wild Wednesday ~ November Wandering

There's a certain kind of tree that's flowering right now. I had sort of forgotten about it until I saw two specimens covered in golden flowers right outside my office that I'd never noticed before, and I made it my mission last weekend to find an individual in our woods at home.

I think I've seen one around here before, but I'm not sure where, so I trekked off-trail, into the woods, eyes peeled for yellow blooms. As I stomped along, I came across this bright green log. The color is from a fungus, Chlorociboria, or green elf cup. Unfortunately, it wasn't fruiting right now. The fruiting bodies, just like their common name suggests, are also bright green, and I'd love to see one.

I did, however see a bright red fruiting body. Like I've mentioned before, I haven't taken the time to learn mushrooms very well yet--and I don't even have a comprehensive field guide--so I don't know what this little guy is called.

Nor this one, but it's so pretty with the yellowish gills and jaunty caps.

I trekked a fair distance one way, realizing that I was probably in the wrong habitat for the tree I was looking for, surrounded as I was by evergreens, but the walking was easy. I turned around and headed back along our trail, stopping to enjoy a moment by the river, before making my way into denser deciduous growth.

I think this fungus might be chicken of the woods, which is edible. I want to go back with a field guide in hand and bring some home to cook.

This is an amazing year for winterberry (Ilex verticillata). I found tons of the bright red berries in places where I didn't even know it grew.

But I didn't find the tree I was looking for. It should have been easy to find the tree I was looking for, with most of the leaves down. I kept my eyes open for its bright yellow blossoms. I was fooled a few times by golden apples or leaves that still clung to their branches, but I find any flowers. 

I did, however, see several larch (Larix laricina) trees that I never knew about growing across the road, and one somewhat haggard looking specimens on our very own land. These deciduous conifer trees are easiest to spot at this time of year, when their needles turn a delicious caramel color, in preparation for falling off. In the summer, they blend in with the other greenery, looking from the distance like fir trees.

And, when I retraced my steps because I had dropped something, I found this belated, confused, and somewhat shrunken buttercup (Ranunculus sp.) growing at the edge of the field. It's not what I was looking for, but it was a bright spot on a gray day.

I have not given up (yet) on my November bloom. Maybe I'll find one next weekend. Bonus points if you know what tree I'm talking about.

What's wild in your neck of the woods?


  1. I wish I knew more about fungi too, the foraging opportunities would instantly France it is part of a pharmacist's training so you take specimens into a pharmacy for identification.

    1. Wow, that's interesting. Can't imagine our pharmacists knowing fungus!!

  2. Could it be witchhazel? I have one right by me and I love looking at it.

  3. Could it be witchhazel? I have one right by me and I love looking at it.

  4. I was going to say Witch hazel as well. We have all the same trees you and I and many have them as ornamentals in their yards around here. :-) Such a pretty delicate burst of color for such a gray month.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...