Usually by this time of year, I'm starving for some sign of green in the world.
Other than the inevitable pine and fir needles.
But now, with so much of the ground bare, there are mosses and lichens, and little green leaves galore.
It may not be fresh, spring growth sort of green...
But it's green no less.
Mosses aren't something I know much about (nor lichens, either, really, though I've got a key to them that I can use with a lot of laborious referring to the glossary), but they're something I'd like to learn more about someday.
So much to learn, so little time.
This little guy I do know, however; a princess pine (Lycopodium) or club moss.
And this fern I think is spineless wood fern (Dryopteris carthusiana), but don't quote me on it.
This little green plant poking through the leaves is partridge berry (Mitchell repens)
And this electric green log has succumbed to green stain fungus (Chlorociboria spp.). The fruiting bodies are apparently these amazing green cups, but I've never seen them in real life. I'll have to remember where this log was and come back to visit often.
Sometimes a trip into the woods generates more questions than answers.
For instance, what tiny insect drilled the perfectly round hole in between the two much messier woodpecker holes?
And who will emerge from this cocoon come spring?
I noticed these powdery orange holes excavated all over the bark of a dead fir tree.
I was looking around at nearby trees to see if they, too, had similar holes when I noticed these weird, pyramid-shaped growths around the base of another fir. What's up with that? It looks like a troll's leg.
This hollow log I've come across on other off-trail outings and I like to imagine it's the husk of a chestnut tree. I'm not sure why I like to think that, since it's clearly dead and not coming back, but it gives a nice link-to-the-past sort of feel.
And, finally, this little tower of fungus growing vertically up off a log.
I've been looking at fungi like these all over our property, trying to figure out what they were. A friend pointed out violet toothed polypores (Trichaptum biforme) on a hike in her neighborhood, and they seem pretty similar to those I see around here. So I'm going to go out on a limb (or maybe climb up a branch stub on the dead log) and say that's what these are. Correct me if you know better.
What's wild in your neck of the woods this week?