This past weekend we had weather that I would call "stunning"! I don't think I have felt 70 degrees since last fall. Wow and blue skies, lovely. I made my way up to Lake McDonald and had a long leisurely walk, did tai chi on the beach and took pictures! I saw my first butterflies of the season:
Yesterday's hike was amongst a quiet day, but for the call of the Sandhill crane family as it flew through the distant sky, calling in their prehistoric sounding song! Me standing there wishing they would fly right overhead! My hike for the most part was cloudy and gray, sun streaking through for moments here and there. Me finding my thoughts in the form of words to tell my story.
I found the woods interesting to walk 'on'. I would say the earth is one third bare, two thirds covered with snow. The surface of the snow was firm from the cold night, yet fragile under the surface from the warmth of days, so with every step I would sink. "Will it be three inches or one foot or more" was my thought with EVERY step. I felt like I was on a stair master in a gym stepping out of each and every hole. Yep that was exercise! I found myself choosing barren earth where I could find it, whether it be a ring of earth around a tree or the prints of an moose that had recently walked by. I find for the most part it is easier to walk in another's steps, than to make new ones myself. A friend, Charlie once told me something like "in the summer the critters make trails for us and it is only natural that we do this for them in the deep winter snow". This past winter I noted that sometimes I walked in the wolves tracks and sometimes they walked in mine.
I thought the above little guys were tree ears, but I don't think so, if you know what they are let me know, please.
Added note: I asked my mushroom teacher Larry Evans and host of The Fungal Jungal about the mushrooms (above)he says: Peziza or a Discina, both are brownish cup shaped fungi.
I found two different kinds of mushrooms today! New tiny mosses and buds on plants that have been dormant for months! I love seeing evidence of spring. Mushrooms in particular excite me. They are such interesting little creatures. pure magic. Always I feel as though I have met a wee fairy!
Me thinks this one is a false morel, but hey I don't know much about mushrooms so I asked Larry Evans, he says yes this is Gyromitra gigas: