18 November

  A mild, overcast morning in the Forest and Wetlands. Patches of mist formed over the marsh; some settled on the hillsides. After my remarks a couple of blogs back about the shrinking numbers of mushrooms, a variety of new fungi are flourishing.   Last week candlesnuff fungus had appeared, but were sparse.  These odd-looking fungi have become abundant.   A small cluster of birds-nest fungus had appeared among the mosses and small woody debris. A line of polypores made their way up a dead snag.  I've sent an inquiry to iNaturalist, but have yet to find out what they are.   A tiny mushroom sprouted on a mossy branch.  Was it nurtured by the moss? There have been changes in the growth that we've been observing. The woodpecker stump continues to diminish, and the mushrooms have departed. Somehow, the two little huckleberry shoots that we've been watching on this stump have vanished.   A pity;  it was fun to watch them grow. Cascara and huckleberry still have leaves, showing au

11 November

A visit to the Forest and Wetlands between downpours and wind.  Once again, I detoured a bit to the Happy Cow Farm, and sure enough, the swans were still in the farm fields.  The small group nearest the road have obviously been feeding on the grasses in muddy fields. Given that swan identification includes the colouration of their beaks, these birds' beaks, coated in mud,  would complicate  identification.  The younger bird really doesn't have a dark head--he's just muddy. Notwithstanding that, their call is unmistakably that of trumpeter swans. The Forest has definitely received heavy rain.  Next week, I think I'll wear gumboots--my supposedly waterproof hiking boots didn't live up to their claims.   I'd taken a little side-trip to explore the first path, where it joins with the way into the marsh.  It isn't entirely passable, but it's rewarding to take a look at it, now and then. The woods are now crossed by streams, some quite lively. The fungus crop

5 November

 Definitely a November day to visit the Forest and Wetlands.  After the previous day's wind and rain, the wind abated, but the rain persisted.  Despite the weather, it was a fine day to visit the forest.  I often wish that there were a way to record fragrances--it's now possible to add audio to the visuals in this blog, but the wonderful fresh scent of rainy woods can only be described.   As a prelude to the visit, on a whim, I drove past the entrance to check out the Happy Cow Farm, just under a kilometer further along S. Hilliers Road.  My whim was rewarded: There were about fifty trumpeter swans feeding in the farm's fields.  Two adults and three juveniles were feeding closer to the road.   Back at the trailhead into the Forest, light rain began to fall, soaking the cat-tail mosses. The seasonal abundance of fungi is beginning to diminish, although the jelly fungi have appeared.  This is either orange jelly fungus or witches butter.  It's hard to distinguish them wit