When God sent bread from heaven to the Israelites, they called it “Manna” which means “What is it?” If I stick to the literal interpretation of manna, I guess I could apply it to this:

What is it?

What is it?


There are a couple dozen of these at the edge my yard, and I have no idea what they are. Are they purely plant matter, or were those nodules made by insects? I opened one up to see:
The innards of my "manna"

The innards of my "manna"


The white fibers make me think these are purely plant matter, but I am not confident enough in that to make the call. I assume they fell from the canopy above, but I didn’t see any of them in the woods. There is a young (but tall) oak right on the edge of my woods, and its canopy does cover this edge of my yard, so that could be the source. But it’s nothing I recognize.

I did take some photos yesterday of some things I do recognize though. My pink lady slippers have finally opened.

Pink lady slipper (cypripedium acaule)

Pink lady slipper (cypripedium acaule)


This blossom is a bit on the pale end of the spectrum. I have a bunch of these along my trail, but many of them have been injured before they could bloom – the flower stems have been decapitated or bent over. I have no idea what did that, but kids and a dog are prime suspects. Not much I can do about that though, so there’s really no point in fretting over it.

The wait for blooms is also over for the star flower (Trientalis borealis).

Star flower (Trientalis borealis)

Star flower (Trientalis borealis)


I expect to see many more of these in the coming days, and hopefully I can get a better shot than this.

I’ve been fighting with my camera of late. Last year I stripped out the tripod mount. I can still get the camera on my tiny tripod, but it’s pretty wobbly. It takes a lot of effort to get it pointed at the objective, because when I let go, it flops around a little. Then I set the camera to delay for two seconds before making the shot, so it can settle down after I touch the shutter button. What I’ve found myself doing instead is bumping up the ISO a couple notches so I can use a quicker shutter speed (1/25 sec or so). I can sometimes manage a halfway decent hand held shot at that speed, and it is quite a bit easier than arguing with the tripod mount. But the results are most definitely inferior.

I am planning to attempt a repair on the mount, so hopefully things will improve again after that. We’ll see!

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