Here are some pictures of some mushrooms and flowers (‘shrooms and blooms) I took over the past couple of days:

Dewberry (Rubus sect Eubatus)

Dewberry (Rubus sect Eubatus)


Dewberries are in the same genus as blackberries and raspberries, and there are several species in all three of those categories. This particular blossom is odd in that it has six petals instead of the more typical five.
Net-winged beetle (Calopteran spp)

Net-winged beetle (Calopteran spp)


This guy had a buddy on the next leaf over. Just hanging out, I guess.
Unidentified Mushroom

Unidentified Mushroom


I’m not sure what kind of mushroom this is, but I liked its color.
And another

And another


I don’t know what this one is either. These two are taken from the same perspective so that I could steady the camera on the ground. I really need to tap that tripod mounting hole.

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)


A little while ago the swamp candles had bloomed, leading me to predict that the pickerelweed would bloom shortly. And here it is! Beth and I went to Sandogardy Pond this evening and that’s when I took this shot. There was a huge turtle swimming in the pond too, but it did not surface when it was near us, so I couldn’t get a decent shot. Too bad!

Today Jonathan and I went to a deli a couple of blocks from the office for lunch. We walked back via the back allies. I wasn’t intentionally looking for blooms, but once you’ve trained your eye to do that, it’s hard to shut it off. I found an American nightshade (Solanum americanum).

American nightshade (Solanum americanum)

American nightshade (Solanum americanum)


I had always thought this plant to be deadly poisonous, but a new book I received this week – Nature’s Garden, by Samuel Thayer, says otherwise. Thayer holds that the ripe berries and the leaves are both edible and quite palatable. I will have to test his assertion later this year!

We soon ran out of alley and went back onto Main Street which has a row of Basswood (Tilia americana) trees. They were in bloom, so I stopped and snapped a shot.

Basswood (Tilia americana)

Basswood (Tilia americana)

We finished off the day, and then headed home. Penny was very excited (as she always is) and was more than ready to go outside and chase sticks and/or balls. I put down my laptop and headed out the back door with my camera bag still slung over my shoulder.

First I went to the woods in the back where I found that the partridge berry (Michella repens) had bloomed sometime during the past several days of rain.

Partridge berry (Michella repens)

Partridge berry (Michella repens)


I took several shots. It was still very cloudy out so the light was dim. This is not normally a problem except that the tripod mount on my camera is stripped. I packed it full of Quicksteel (a steel-infused epoxy) so that I could drill that out and re-tap it later. But later hasn’t come yet! Also, I’m not sure where I put my set of taps. As a result of this shameful state of disorganization, I had to take these photos with the camera either held in my hand, or sitting on a rock. Some of them turned out pretty OK:
Partridge berry (Michella repens)

Partridge berry (Michella repens)

I also checked in on the Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata). The flowers have still not opened for me, but they must soon!

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

These unripe blackberries are growing at the end of my driveway.

Blackberry (Rubus spp)

Blackberry (Rubus spp)


Then Beth called out to me with an irresistible question, “Dad! What’s this flower?” I rushed right over and saw my first Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) bloom of the year:
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)

Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)


While I was taking that shot, she also found some birdsfoot trefoil, but I’ve already taken shots of that this summer. I may even have posted them. Instead, I spotted some white campion (Silene latifolia) growing amongst the sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina):
White campion (Silene latifolia)

White campion (Silene latifolia)


and some sort of wild mustard (Brassica spp):
Wild mustard (Brassica spp)

Wild mustard (Brassica spp)


These are supposed to be good to eat as well, and mustard can indeed be made from the seeds. I’ll have to try that one of these days.

I then looked for some cow wheat (Melampyrum lineare) that has a habit of growing nearby. I’ve been looking for it already this summer, but hadn’t seen any until today:

Cow wheat (Melampyrum lineare)

Cow wheat (Melampyrum lineare)

And just for good measure, I took another picture of some whorled loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia):

Whorled loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia)

Whorled loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia)


By then Penny had chased her ball into the catchment pond (which is quite full again, thank you). When she saw that I was not going in after it, she did. And even though she was good and wet, I was ready to come in.

Luckily, she was just wet and not too muddy!

Over the past two days I’ve seen lots of nature. Luckily for me, I like that sort of thing. Let’s take a look at what I managed to capture. Not all of it makes for great photography, but I sure thought it was interesting.

Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)


Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is one of my favorites. I stumbled across one of these along the edge of the lawn, and then made a bee-line to where I have seen them growing in semi-profusion in the past. Jackpot. There are a ton of them there.

Blackberries (Rubus spp)

Blackberries (Rubus spp)


The blackberries have bloomed. If all the flowers on my place turn into berries, I ought to be able to pick a couple of gallons this summer. What I like best about them here in NH is that I can pick them without getting chiggers. I can deal with mosquitoes and black flies, but chiggers are in a category of their own. I have many unpleasant memories of running into those in the South. Shudder!

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)


This is another that I always watch closely. The stamens are red when the flowers first open, and that makes for a much prettier blossom. It doesn’t take long before the red drains out. It’s still pretty then, just not as stunning. Even though I checked this one every day, I only managed to catch the tail end of the red phase.

Stupid Zamboni

Stupid Zamboni


Not everything was good though. Last winter, a trail groomer hit a patch of thin ice on Sandogardy Pond and fell through. These are large machines, similar to a Zamboni (if not the same thing). The NH Department of Environmental Services came out the next day to fish it out, but look what I see on the pond now. It’s not unusual to see rainbow slicks in Sandogardy, but I have never seen them this thick or in so many places. Ugh.

I was at the pond to see if I could catch the false hellebore in bloom. Bingo!

False Hellebore (Veratrum viride) blossom

False Hellebore (Veratrum viride) blossom


Until I took this shot (and several others of the same plant), I didn’t have a photo of this species in bloom. Psych! One for the album!

Goldsmith Beetle (Catalpa lanigera)

Goldsmith Beetle (Catalpa lanigera)


This beauty was on the screen door when I left for work this morning. If my id is correct, this beetle feeds on aspens (which I have here). According to my Audubon Field Guide, it was also mentioned in a book by Edgar Allen Poe. Not that I have read it.

Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)


I’m working on identifying ferns this summer. This is a close-up shot of a pinna from a Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum). These have been popping up all over the place here, and I had an inkling that’s what it was. So I looked it up this evening and found that that’s exactly what it is. After reading the identifying features, I ventured out into the twilight to collect a specimen for closer examination (and confirmation). The pinnula (tiny leaves on the pinnae) are exactly the correct shape. The pinnae also have a wooly base where they connect to the rachis. I was trying to capture that here, and I guess I kinda, sorta did.
Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) sporangia

Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) sporangia


The fertile fronds are waaaay different from the sterile ones (shown previously). These turn the color of cinnamon when they are covered with sporangia (spore containers). Peterson’s Field Guide reports that the sporangia look like a tiny Pacman. So I took the best macro shot I could and zoomed in so you could see it too. Yeah – one of those is split open like Pacman’s mouth. Here’s the photo I zoomed in on to get the above detail.
Fertile frond of O. cinnamomeum

Fertile frond of O. cinnamomeum


I took these shots in the bathroom with the super bright lights turned on. When I thought I was done, I put the camera down and started gathering up fern bits so I could chuck them outside. That’s when I spotted this guy:
Fern visitor

Fern visitor


I haven’t attempted an id yet, but I’m guessing this is a spittle bug. It’s about the right size.