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 Apr 13th, 2010

Turkey Lover Boy

Apr 13

Turkeys in the north country have been feeling pretty romantic lately. The males are all pimped out and busy strutting their stuff. There’s an awful lot of flirting going on out in the open lately. The hay fields seem to be the favorite turkey hang out these days.

Normally the turkeys are wary enough to run off to the woods if you pull over to stop. Even now when they have urgent business on their minds it’s still hard not to disturb them. This is the typical scene from the road. This is ‘close’ – only a couple hundred yards but still too far for the 18x zoom to get a good focused shot of the turkeys.

Turkey courtship

Closer to home I caught sight of a male displaying only a few feet off the side of the road. On the other side were the ladies. I still find it hard to believe this guy was so involved with trying to impress the ladies that he didn’t bolt when I pulled over. I actually had enough time to get one shot of him displaying before he casually (for a turkey) crossed the road.

Turkey displaying his tail

Turkey crossing the road This was one brave turkey. Instead of bolting for cover he was determined to follow after the now long gone ladies even if it meant crossing my path. I couldn’t have been more than 20 feet from him and he didn’t take flight.

To see more detail on the feathers click the images for a larger version (1024 x 768) or to use as desktop wallpaper.

Turkey trot

Like a teenage boy this turkey would throw all caution to the wind and risk death for a slim chance to roll in the hay with some grown up chick.

Turkey crossing the road.

Men probably never change but some of us do stop that kind of behavior. Let’s face it, when we start to resemble a turkey from the neck up our chances are a whole hell of a lot less than slim.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 18th, 2010

Porcupine Ivory

Mar 18

My quill covered acquaintance has once again, in a purely defensive move, stuck his head where the sun don’t shine. It was hardly necessary. The only threat I pose is to society.

Porcupine half hidden

After getting my porcupine shot of the day I checked out the area for more scarlet cap mushrooms. No luck with those but I discovered a white spot in the fallen leaves. Last year’s porcupine that is ‘no more’ made a final appearance at the base of the tree.

Porcupine skull in fallen leaves

With all due respect I plundered the remains and grabbed the skull. I looked for other bones and especially the claws but found no trace of them.


It wasn’t surprising that after a year of neglect all the teeth were loose.

Porcupine skull side view

Ever wonder why porcupines seem to gnaw everything in sight? They have to. Proper tooth care means wearing them down. The front teeth grow continually and if not worn down would curl around like a tusk.

Porcupine teeth

The incisors are mainly solid ivory formed from the pulp of the tooth. The orange coloring is a layer of enamel deposited only on the front. The ivory wears easier than the enamel and the tooth ends up chisel shaped and sharp.

Porcupine Backgrounds

Or are these photos a way to show how cool the top of my table stone is?

Porcupine skull - top front
Feeling cheery, I set the above photo as my new wallpaper.
Click either image for the 1024 x 768 version
Porcupine skull - side view

Speaking of solid ivory. Wonder if my wife would like an ivory pendant for her birthday?

Porcupine teeth

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 9th, 2010

Lichen, Orange Mock Oysters n Ice

Mar 9

First up is a fleshy, leafy lichen on a bed of rock and moss. My best guess on an ID would be this is a Felt Lichen – Peltigera polydactylon. I’ve tamed it down some but it’s still a pretty wild guess. My only ‘research’ was looking at far too many photos trying to find a match.

Lichen - Peltigera polydactylon

Lichen Wallpaper

  • Large Lichen photos are linked to a 1024 x 768 sized image
  • Lichen Thumbnails are linked to 1680 x 1050 wide screen image

The light colored odd shaped growths are another mystery to me. New growth? Reproductive tomfoolery? Mutant terrestrial rock kelp?

  Lichen - Peltigera polydactylon
Lichen - Peltigera polydactylon

Lichen - Peltigera polydactylon

Long past their season these Orange Mock Oysters wintered over in fine shape. Wish I had found them in the fall when they were fresh. They might have smelled then. Orange Mock Oysters grow on both hardwood and conifers but the odd thing about them is they don’t smell when growing on conifers. I’ve found them growing on hemlock and couldn’t detect a hint of any odor. Today’s find was on an old dead birch but if they had any odor it was freeze dried out. One other note: they’re supposed to taste worst than they smell.

Orange Mock Oyster – Phyllotopsis nidulans

Orange Mock Oyster
Mock Oyster Wallpaper – 1024 x 768

The If I don’t use them now I’ll never use them category

Ice Quake

Huge slabs of river ice have cracked and buckled along the shoreline while performing their own version of the plate tectonics shuffle.
Ice quake
ice crack

The camera can’t catch what the eye sees in this photo.
submerged ice

  • Lower left – Ice Slab
  • Middle – Submerged Ice Shelf
  • Top – Last Night’s Ice
  The rippled ice shelf is about 4 inches under the surface of the water. Ya got to believe me. It was a lot cooler than it looks here.

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