Fungus on trees is pretty common. This small toadstool – or mushroom – was jutting out of the place a tree limb had been, about 10 feet off the ground. No reason it shouldn’t grow there but it’s the first I’ve seen. It must be nice and damp in the wood there.
The St. John’s Wort, like most summer wildflowers, are long gone along the river bank. They have been replaced by clouds of white and blue asters. This one poked out amidst a low, shady green mass and seems to just be a late bloomer.
The squirrels were out all over the place yesterday. Like other mammals, they seem quite happy to be in close proximity to humans and dogs but not too close. Both of these squirrels stopped what they were doing to make sure they weren’t under a threat.
The village has pulled a huge tree trunk out from a small spit near the overflow pond. This has left a large clear area that nature is quickly reclaiming. We have seen frogs there and I went down to see what else is there now. This small creeping plant caught my eye – the orange flowers are only about a quarter to half an inch across – and so I took a photo. I believe it’s Scarlet Pimpernel ( Anagellis arvensis ), a plant I’d never seen before. It’s quite striking.
The crickets have kept hidden even though I can see them in transit from one place to another. This grasshopper was on the long grass near the path – it looks like another, small, red tibia grasshopper – and stayed still long enough for me to take a picture.
I was sad to hear that Pointe Pelee had cancelled its monarch butterfly activities because so few seem to have migrated north again. Something seems to be quite wrong with the butterfly population. We have masses of milkweed pods along the river and hopefully the butterflies will be back and be able to take advantage of them. This one has reddened on the end in an unusual way. Most of the pods will be drying out, breaking open, and browning as the cold comes.
The leaves are changing color but not uniformly. Lots of green still but a few maples have dropped their leaves already and I found a few red ones lying by themselves. They remind me of Canadian flags in their natural habitat.
We were walking down the path, the dog and me, and saw this groundhog – aka groundpig – run across the path. It was well ahead of us, about 50 feet. Coming the other direction, just as far away again, was another black dog and walker. But the groundhog didn’t seem bothered at all by the foot traffic or potential predators. It waited until both dogs had clearly noticed it – ears went up all around and there was a bit more straining on the leads – until it turned and high-tailed it back into the tall weeds. There was a large hole about 4 feet off the path, and I’m guessing that’s its den.
This appears to be a very small common mullein. The leaves are very soft but I found it deep amid taller grass and that morning’s dew still hadn’t dried off entirely.
One of the things I’ve learned since starting this blog is that I’ve applied the term dandelion rather loosely. There is a flower known as a dandelion but every yellow-topped weed sometimes gets the same label. The tendrils on top are quite interesting.
This appears to be a perennial sowthistle. Or it could be a dandelion! The point being, my inexactness aside, that just because something looks like one plant, it may be something else. I need to do a better job of recording more of the plant so that identification is easier!
All the berries have ripened now and those that aren’t being actively devoured may hang around into winter. There have been hordes of birds in the trees but I have noticed, at least during last winter, that the number of birds didn’t necessarily mean all of the available food disappeared.