WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 23rd, 2012

Spring Beauties and Wild Leeks

Mar 23

My first wildflower photo of 2012 came as a bit of a surprise. The Carolina Spring Beauties – Claytonia caroliniana are about two weeks earlier than I’ve ever seen them.

Carolina Spring Beauty - Claytonia caroliniana

The flowers are pretty enough to bring me to my knees.

Carolina Spring Beauty - native wildflower

The woods held a couple more surprises. Besides the spring beauties I also found wild leeks (ramps) and a number of garter snakes around the rock outcrop.

wild leeks in the woods

The leeks are nearly ready to harvest. I’ll be eating wild leek – potato soup early this year.

Anyone living in the Canton, NY area want some wild leeks? I’d be happy to pick extra.

wild leeks - Allium tricoccum

Garter Snake – Thamnophis sirtalis
garter snake - Thamnophis sirtalis

For some reason I don’t believe garter snakes got the name because women used them to hold up their stockings.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 19th, 2011

poke it with a stick

Mar 19

…that’s what boys usually do when they find something dead. Now that the snow has melted I’m getting a lot of stick time in. Today I got to poke at least 4 remains.

The first deerly departed

deer teeth This deer passed a long time ago but it’s still hard to resist poking at it. There’s not much left but the upper jaw and part of an eye socket. After poking it a few times I left it where I found it. There wasn’t enough to bother bringing home.

I turned this skull over with my walking stick. I found this skull last summer when the backbone was still attached. I didn’t want to carry the ‘ripe’ remains home then but I carried it home today to add to my collection. Later this year I plan on photographing Iris growing from the eye socket.

deer skull

I was sad to find my porcupine buddies in the dead cockroach position. I’m not sure if these are the same pair of porkys from the other day. At least one is but I caught sight of a third entering the hole in the maple tree they were living in. I have no idea what caused their death. Poking them with a stick proved to be a poor autopsy.

dead porcupine

I turned one over with my stick. Not the best pose but you can see the quills on the head and tail. I should pick them. There are native women on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation nearby that use them to make quill baskets. I’ve always wanted an excuse to photograph their baskets.

dead porcupine

A poor photo of a dead head. Too much sun bleached out the color of the teeth, for a better look at the teeth go to this post: Porcupine Tree. You’ll also get another pic of the paw.

dead porcupine head

This year’s paw photo

dead porcupine paw and claws

It will be a while before I add the skulls of these unfortunate porcupines to my collection. No need to wait for photographs. I found one last year and you can see a lot more about their teeth on this post: Porcupine Ivory

This year’s deer skull makes a perfect mate for the buck I found a couple years ago. I really need to do something with that sandstone slab. It’s been sitting on the stump for 3 years now. I keep thinking ‘table top’ but haven’t managed to get any farther than that.

deer skulls on stone slab

a closer look at the bony pair. The antler sticking out of the snow on a post not long ago belonged to that skull. (see ‘basket case’ while the link still shows on the sidebar)

deer skulls

Who knows what lurks for tomorrow. Stay tuned for another exciting post, sometime, same place. I just might bore your socks off.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 11th, 2011

snow shrooms to a prickly pair

Mar 11

…another march madness episode.

Mushroom Madness

I didn’t think I could top finding mushrooms growing in a Feburary north country winter but photographing them in snow is a new high for me.

velvet foot mushroom in snow

I found these on the same Elm tree the Feburary batch was growing on.

Velvet Foot Mushroom – Flammulina velutipes

velvet foot mushroom in snow

I know it’s yellow but this is to the best of my knowledge:

Orange Jelly – Dacrymyces palmatus

orange jelly fungus

This too was a warm Febuary day discovery but I caught it growing this time. It’s on a dead Hemlock branch which makes me believe it is orange jelly but I wasn’t aware it grew like a slime mold. Doubts on the identity are now stuck in the cobwebs of my mind. Is this a slime mold or a mushroom? It certainly looks like snot.

orange jelly or slime mold?

Moss Madness

I love this rock. It’s about a quarter mile from the house but I swear someday I’m going to bring it home. It’s going to be tough to do. I need to find someone dumber than I to carry it.

Moss Rock Garden
moss rock garden

The Fire Moss is ‘blooming’.
As far as I’ve observed, fire moss is the first moss to form spore pods as the snow melts.

fire moss spore pods

sometimes it doesn’t wait for the snow to melt

spore pods emerging from snow

Ice Madness

I did make it to the river. Almost. I was kept at bay by the high water level. I’d guess it’s about 6 feet higher than normal.

grasse river ice in March

grasse river ice - mar 11, 2011
I have more ice photos but this is enough for today.

Porcupine Madness

This is actually the last shot I took of them. I wanted to open with an obvious pair of porkies.

pair of porcupines

The first photo I took is not very revealing. It only shows the tip of the second porcupine’s tail.

Not a snuggle bunny

Tomorrow I’m headed to Lampson Falls on the Grasse River. While I’m in the area I hope to find some wintergreen. I’d love to catch the red berries against the snow. (fingers crossed)

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