Today I came home right after work instead of stopping at the church to work on the remodeling project. It’s really the first time I’ve had a chance to wander around the yard in the daylight since before we left on vacation on July 31. One of the first things I did was head for the neighbor’s yard to check out the fire damage.

Burn Pile

Burn Pile


I suppose it must have been pretty scary when it was happening, but it doesn’t look like the reports we had received were very accurate. For instance, it was on the other side of their property and not on our border. The fire never approached the stone wall between our place and theirs. The fire did expose a lot of trash and debris that had been covered with undergrowth, but I’m assuming that the new neighbors (who had not yet and still have not yet moved in) are going to clean the place up a bit (thus the burn pile). I sure hope they do anyhow.

While I was walking around my place, I noticed this chestnut tree.

Diseased Chestnut

Diseased Chestnut


The American Chestnut was wiped out early in the twentieth century by an introduced fungus that causes chestnut blight. We still have chestnuts here, but they don’t get taller than 20 feet or so, and the trunks never exceed three inches in diameter (like this one). These sprout up from dead chestnut stumps, grow for a few years, and then die off. I do not know for sure, but I’m guessing that the white powder on these leaves is the fungus. Nope. Chestnut blight is a fungus that attacks the bark. After having looked at several photos, I know I’ve seen bark like that on my chestnut coppices though. This leaf fungus could possibly be Sphaerotheca fuliginea though.

Woodland Sunflower

Woodland Sunflower


These are finally fully in bloom now too. It’s a Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus). By the time I took this shot though, the sky was pretty overcast and the sun was low in the sky (i.e., low light). To compound that, it was breezy, and the flower was swaying back and forth, so the shot is not what I was hoping for. It still turned out semi-OK though.

Beth and I picked about three pints of blackberries today. I’d like to make a pie from them, but Beth wants to do something else. She doesn’t know what that something else is though – just that it’s “not pie.” I’ll probably make pie anyhow.