Tonight I went walking in the woods and found some pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) in bloom. I liked this shot the best, even though there’s some blow-out in the sky. The brilliance of the blossom overcomes that problem in my mind.

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

I also found several Indian pipes (Monotropa uniflora) in bloom. These seem to flower as soon as they sprout.

Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora)


This plant does not photosynthesize, but rather, is parasitic on a fungus which in turn is parasitic on trees. The first time I ever saw one, I was convinced it was a fungus itself, but that is not the case. This is a flower, and it does make seeds.

Later, as I was putting Beth to bed, Penny started barking her fool head off. Va looked out the sliding glass door to see what the fuss was about and saw a white-tailed doe in the neighbor’s yard. I have about convinced myself that this is the very same individual I saw last week. I took this very unsatisfying shot through the window.

Hungry doe

Hungry doe


Yeah, it’s the neighbor’s yard, but it’s Beth’s upturned wagon. Our yard doesn’t look any neater. But yard-grooming aside. I slipped out the front door and waited 30 seconds for the doe to settle down. Va says that as soon as I closed the door, the doe raised her head and stared towards the front yard. I quietly walked towards the garage and peeked around the corner. The deer was screened from me by a clump of trees. I slowly stepped into the yard, and she jerked her head up again. I froze. After thirty seconds, she went back to eating clover. I took a slow step, and she jerked up again and stared in my direction. I froze. A mosquito landed on my forehead. I slowly raised my hand to squash it, and the doe bolted off, taking the same route she did when she escaped through the woods last week. I did not get a second photograph, which is why you get to see the awful one above.

I guess I would make a terrible hunter. But putting aside my stalking skills (or lack thereof), take a look at that deer. Her ribs are showing. I can’t imagine that that would be a good thing for her, since the forest and fields around here are lush with vegetation, and we’re just coming off a mast year for the acorns. She must be sick.

And now Penny’s barking and growling into the darkness out the glass door again. Maybe the doe is back.