After a nice afternoon nap, Penny talked me into taking her on a walk to Sandogardy Pond. We had been away for ten days visiting relatives in Kentucky, and she stayed here with David. She missed us!

Before we even got off our property, I stumbled across the largest colony of Indian pipe (Monoflora unitropa) that I think I’ve ever seen. This one looked especially nice against a backdrop of moss.

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

I was pleased to see some fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata) in the ditch along the road. There used to be a lot more of it, but the Japanese knotweed has been expanding along the ditch, forming a huge monoculture and displacing native species as it goes along. Here is one of the flowers, shot from underneath:

Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

And here’s what the plant looks like. Notice how the flowers nod:

Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

This patch of woods along th way was covered up with ripe blueberries. I stopped, picked, and devoured about a pint of them.

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

Just before the pond, there was a batch of shinleaf pyrola. I think this was as nice a batch of them as I have ever seen:

Shinleaf (Pyrola elliptica)

Shinleaf
(Pyrola elliptica)

We got to the pond, but I could tell there were a lot of people there picnicking and swimming. Not wanting to bother them, we detoured down the the stream that drains the pond, and Penny jumped right in:

Penny cools off

Penny cools off

We approached the pond from the other side, stopping to look at the bluebead lilies:

Bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

Bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

Over at the other end of the beach (the part that is somewhat overgrown with alder), I found one of the plants I was hoping to see – swamp candles. This was was blooming next to a wild rose:

Swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

Swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

The pickerel weed was also in bloom, but it was just starting – it will be more photogenic in another week or so. There was what I know is a variety of St Johnswort growing on the beach, and I think it might be dwarf St Johnswort. But I have not yet confirmed that.

Dwarf St Johnswort (Hypericum mutilum)?

Dwarf St Johnswort (Hypericum mutilum)?

We’ll go back again soon Penny!

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This morning I took Penny for a lap around the property. I brought my camera along.

In bringing the camera from the air-conditioned house to the humid, sweltering July heat, the lens fogged up. I took a few “soft” shots courtesy of this effect, but the mosquitoes were trying to carry me off. So I set the camera on the deck, went in, and grabbed some Off. After applying it liberally, I grabbed the camera and tried again. By then the lens had warmed up and the fog on it had lifted. Here are the results.

Dewdrop (Dalibarda repens)

Dewdrop (Dalibarda repens)


I finally found some dewdrop flowers that were not horribly misshapen. I am relatively pleased with this shot.

We’ve been getting a lot of rain for the past couple of weeks, and as a result, I have several pools of standing water in the woods (which explains the mosquitoes). Smack in the middle of one puddle was this blueberry bush bearing a modest amount of berries. I ate them after taking this shot.

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

The wintergreen is starting to bloom. I didn’t see any with open flowers, but they are very close. I like this shot because it shows two plants – one with flowers, and one still sporting a berry. Wintergreen hangs onto its fruit through the winter and even to the point when it flowers (as shown here).

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

I liked this mushroom. I haven’t tried to id it.

I don't do mushrooms, but here's one anyhow.

I don’t do mushrooms, but here’s one anyhow.

I was hoping to see some Indian pipe, and was not disappointed. This is the second of two clumps I found (the other clump being a solitary flower).

Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora)


These plants are parasitic on the roots of other plants, and they produce no chlorophyll of their own. That’s why they are white.

Whorled loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia)

Whorled loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia)


The loosestrife is still going strong. I thought this shot in full sun came out pretty OK!

Saint John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Saint John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

As did this shot of some common Saint John’s wort.

Mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella)

Mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella)

This might be garlic mustard, or it could be some other mustard. I pulled it up after photographing it, as I don’t want it taking over.

Some kind of mustard (Brassica spp)

Some kind of mustard (Brassica spp)

There were several clumps of white campion here and there about the yard, but this one was in the shade giving a softer light more conducive to photography.

White campion (Silene latifolia)

White campion (Silene latifolia)

This one surprised me. I haven’t seen it growing on my property before. Samuel Thayer adamantly avows that these are quite edible (they have a reputation for being poisonous). However, he has eaten them many times, and they are a staple in many places (Africa, for one). Thayer thinks their reputation come from people who misidentify it and eat something else in the Solanum genus that is poisonous (but I don’t remember what). There are lots of Solanum’s out there, and many are poisonous.

Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum)

Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum)

Here’s some spreading dogbane. You can distinguish is from “regular” dogbane (A. cannabinum) by the way the petals recurve.

Spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

Spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

I also found some heal-all in bloom.

Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)

Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)


It’s been in bloom for a while, but this was the first time I had time to shoot it.

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.

Tonight Beth and I finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek, which was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie fame. Even though she had also written a book called Little House on the Prairie, the TV show was based on Plum Creek. We bought the series on DVD a while back, and Beth has been lapping them up. I’ve only managed to watch one episode, and found that it was based on a chapter in the book. They took a few liberties, but it’s pretty close. If they still made shows like that, I might watch TV again.

Yesterday as I was walking the trail in my woods I happened across some dewdrops!

Dewdrop (Dalibarda repens)

Dewdrop (Dalibarda repens)


This is one of my favorite plants, and the only place I know where I can find it is right here in my woods. The leaves would lead one to believe it’s a violet, but it most certainly is not. This species is, I think, what taught me to photograph flowers. It grows in the shady woods, and it has white petals. I guess I took three dozen shots of it with my old camera in Auto mode, and not one of the photos turned out well. Then I found the macro button and read up on it. The camera was still over-exposing the white petals because the picture was mostly dark. So I figured out how to manually adjust the exposure time. But for that to be effective, I needed a tripod, so I got a tiny little one. By the next season, I had a new camera (my current one, a Canon S110IS), and it had a super macro lens that blew the other one away. I learned that maxing out the F-stop would improve the depth of field. I think my best photo ever depicted this plant, growing in basically the same place as the one above. I didn’t have a lot of time yesterday evening (supper was ready!) and there was a slight breeze, so the flower wouldn’t hold still. That’s pretty crucial when the exposure time is long. Anyhow, this is the rushed version of this year’s dewdrop.

Then today I went walking through my woods again, looking for dead trees to fell for Beth’s cabin. I didn’t fell any trees, but I did see this Indian Pipe.

Inidna Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Inidna Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)


Again, I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on photography. I took two shots, and this one came out kind of OKish.