Mushrooms will happen! It is amazing (to me) how powerful they are…pushing up through a layer of matted leaves…and not just a little pointy thing like a plant shoot…no, a whole platter lifting a big chunk of the forest floor. 🙂 At Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells Maine. Sony Rx10iv at about 290mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
One of the things I like about mushrooms is the variety of shapes and colors and forms. This cluster of small mushrooms, probably in a symbiotic relationship with the tree, is a case in point. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Headquarters trail, Wells, Maine. Sony Rx10iv at 211mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Of course there are mushrooms all summer, but September seems to be an abundant month for them in the woods of Southern Maine. These are bursting out along the trail at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Wells, Maine. The biggest one is just smaller than a dinner plate, and as you can see from the second photo, they are massive mushrooms. There will be lots more as the leaves begin to turn in a few weeks. Sony Rx10iv at
135mm equivalent ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/320th
47mm equivalent ISO 200 @ f3.2 @ 1/100th
Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
The parking lot and trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge here in Southern Maine has been closed until just this past weekend, so I have not been able to check on this year’s crop of Jack-in-the-pulpits near the bike rack were they have been growing for several years. Now that the parking lot is open, I stopped by on my eBike to see what was up. I suspect the first plants were transplanted as part of a “wild garden” concept, which has since gone completely wild. The Jacks that grow there are the largest I have ever seen…way larger than I could have ever imagined Jack-in-the-pulpits could get. The oldest plants are over 3 feet tall with many pulpits…and some of the pulpits themselves are 6 inches in length. The leaves can be a foot long. These are really big plants. And they are spreading. There are now two smaller plants along side the bike rack that were definitely not there last year. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths (the Sony has full time macro focus). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Something a bit different today. Along the back side of the loop at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, there was a land slippage on the high bank over Branch Brook last spring that took an overlook and part of the trail with it. One of the tall spruces that was on the edge of the bank is now down near the river, leaning against the back and out over the trail. It did not survive the fall, and is now slowly turning brown. They will get to it with a chainsaw one of these days soon, but for now it is like a rich bronze casting over the trail, especially in afternoon light. I moved in close and tried several different compositions out at the long end of the zoom, in an attempt to capture the effect. Sony Rx10iv at about 440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications (which I also use for macro). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Near the bike-rack, right where I see them every time I go to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Wells Maine, there are a few stands of giant Jack-in-the-pulpits growing…the largest plants of their kind I have ever seen. This is one of them. The tallest blossom is about two and half feet off the ground. Giant! Sony RX10iv at about 150mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
The Jack-in-the-pulpit is a strange plant, and relatively rare in southern Maine (or at least rare in the places I frequent). I have seen them several times at Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve) but the stands I knew are apparently gone now. This one is growing on the edge of what used to the frog pond at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. There are several there that I am watching. This is an early bloom. There are some giants there that should bloom over the next week or so, and I hope to catch them. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
American Robins are the quintessential back yard bird. They are so common as to be cliche. Still, they are forest birds and you do see them in any forest here in the North East. And, like the chickadees at the feeder, which suffer the same over-familiarity, they are somehow more handsome when seen in their “natural” habitat. At least to my eye. 🙂 This one was actively feeding in the mixed forest along the Rachel Carson Interpretive Trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Wells, Maine. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
Yesterday I biked down to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters trail to check on the Pink Lady Slipper orchids, which were just budding out the middle of last week, several weeks late. There is a large patch on the inside (land side) of the trail right behind the buildings, and there is a small patch below one of the overlooks where they maintain an opening onto the marsh view. The ones on the inside were still in bud, but at least two of the flowers on the sunnier marsh side had opened. There are more to come, clearly, in both spots and if we get a few warm days here they will all be open. The first blooms to open this year are pale compared to other years. Only time will tell if that is the trend this year, or just characteristic of the early bloom. The Lady Slippers are wonderful, ornate, delicate blooms…endangered due to habitat loss, and protected. I know of a few other more isolated spots where they bloom in the area, but the ones along the headquarters trail are certainly the most reliable and accessible. Sony RX10iv at 365mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
Yesterday was a day for looking for wildflowers. I took my ebike out to the headquarters trail at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge to see if, despite our ridiculously late spring, there were flowers in bloom. The Hobblebush is, of course, still in bloom, but then, that sometimes blooms in February. The Lady Slippers, generally a safe bet for Mother’s Day, are just budding out. Late indeed. However the Two-bead Lily are past, so they apparently bloomed on schedule. ?? I found the Rhodora above in a road-side ditch on my way to Rachel Carson, and the Wood Violet, Blueberry, and Painted Trillium along the trail. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and assembled in Framemagic.