Posted by: atowhee | October 26, 2017


October 26, 2017

“October is the glory time for a fungus-lover.  Just the right quantity of rain followed by just the perfe3ct dose of sunshine encourages a frenzied upsurge of mushrooms.  They erupt everywhere; pushing out of the leaf litter, decking dead trees and covering much of the old conifer log pile.”
The Wood For the Trees, Richard Fortey

Mr. Fortey was writing about his woodlands in the Chiltern Hills between Oxford and London.  But the same is true here in the Willamette Valley.  The small organisms are resurgent while the large photosynthesis factories—trees, ivy, bushes, grasses—are all shutting down for the season.  Any observant hiker right now will note the fungi, luxuriant mosses, licorice ferns unfurling, lichens resplendent—all as soon as you escape from pavement and agriculture.IMG_0309IMG_0310IMG_0312Licorice ferns form canopy above miniature mossy rain forest.lic fernlic ferns2room1room2rooms3rooms4IMG_0936IMG_0938

The annual photosynthesis shutdown among trees and shrubs leaves leaves that are longer needed, cut off from sugars and water; left to color, discolor, drop and dry.  Beneath one such tree my wife noted it was “wearing a skirt of gold.” Most parts of the world never see this colorful climax to the deciduous trees and bushes main growing season.lvsLVS2The golden skirt:IMG_0944In the South Yamhill River, Joe Dancer Park: an ephemeral gold rush along the river.  The leaves are streaming down to the sea.LV STREAMThis is one of the few full spider webs in our garden this season.  A year large orb weavers were abundant.  This year I have seen none.  But this foot-wide web was put in place by somebody smaller though no less skilled.OCT-WEB


  1. Diane and I headed to the Cascades today in our chanterelle-hunting outfits. We had some luck! Enough luck for some cream of chanterelle soup, to be enjoyed with baguette tonight. Yum!


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