Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23, 2012

The autumnal equinox has passed, which means we, the residents of the northern hemisphere, have passed the sun back to our friends down under.  For the next three months our days will get shorter and cooler as the sun sinks lower in the sky.  But this week was still warm enough for many people to be out enjoying Lake Wicwas.  And not only people.  On a late afternoon paddle I saw many turtles sunning themselves on logs as they soak up the last of the summer sunshine.  There were four of them lined up perfectly on this sunning spot, but two of them were camera shy and slipped under the water before they could captured by the paparazzi.

Other animals I saw on the trip included heron, a hawk, and lots of geese.  I did not see the osprey or the loons, but I did hear the latter.  I also heard a barred owl hooting early one morning before dawn. The same morning there were two deer in the yard.

I came across this large mound of weeds and aquatic foliage on the shore of the lake.  I'm not sure what creature is building it, or what the purpose is.  My best guess is either a muskrat or a beaver, perhaps starting a new lodge?  I'll have to keep an eye on it and see what happens.

I did not see a lot of other activity this week, but here's a sampling of some of the more interesting mushrooms I've seen over the past couple of weeks.

A New Crop
Emerging from the Forest Floor

Destroying Angel

Indian Pipe

Emerging Fly Amanita
Fully Open, 7 inches Across
Lunch for Chipmunks

With just a touch of fall color starting in the lakes region, the brightest foliage is found in the red maples that grow in the low wetlands and marshes around the lake.  The blueberries are also starting to turn.
Every day now they're turning a bit more....

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