a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   living life in the Highlands of New Jersey

Friday, September 14, 2007

Down the forest path

It’s a beautiful mornin’, Ahhh,
I think I’ll go outside a while,
An jus’ smile.
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
Ain’t no sense in stayin’ inside
If the weather’s fine an’ you got the time.
It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day.
Either way,
It’s a beautiful mornin’, Ahhh,
Each bird keeps singin’ his own song.
So long!

—the Rascals
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
The lyrics from “It’s a Beautiful Morning” by the Rascals seemed to sum up Wednesday’s weather to me. It was cool, sunny, and crisp without the dragging humidity of the past week. I could not make myself stay inside or do anything as mundane as going grocery shopping. So I grabbed my camera and headed off down the forest path to Green Turtle Pond.

It wasn’t the kind of walk one does to get the utmost exercise. Oh, no; this was a leisurely stroll to focus on the nature around me. As I walked along all the worries and cares that I’ve been carrying around with me melted away and were absorbed into the leaves and branches of the trees.

Getting off the beaten path I was rewarded with a few interesting mushrooms. This one was on the side of a hill and because of where it decided to grow, was growing with its top in a vertical position instead of horizontal like it should be, leaving it looking like a big paddle with its spongy pores exposed.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

This one was particularly intriguing to me. I think it looks like an Oreo cookie, but one that you wouldn’t particularly want to eat. I had to look it up in our mushroom books when I got home and found out it was an Old Man of the Woods, and edible although mediocre in taste.  But pretty, don’t you agree?

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

One of my goals on the walk was to visit this tree. I had seen it on a walk with the dogs and knew I would want to revisit it. It was just too interesting with all the shelf mushrooms (or polypores) growing on it. It was off the trail and up a steep embankment. Up close it’s a grand old tree that not only the fungi loves, but also an obvious favorite of woodpeckers. Yet it bears up under all that abuse, and I got the impression it was not unhappy about it.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Further along the path there were a few leaves changing.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And more polypores—growing on the ground this time.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Down by the pond’s edge I found this beautiful pine tree. I had seen this spot from the canoe and had to follow a few paths before I found the one that led here. We have one of these pines in our front yard and our neighbor’s have one too. I’m not certain of the name, but they are huge! The ground beneath its labyrinth of branches was covered with a soft carpet of spent pine needles that was inches deep. A perfect spot to spread a blanket for a picnic lunch or just to sit and relax.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

This vine doubled back on itself to make the perfect trap for an unwary creature that happens into its path. I decided not to try the noose out for size!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

This spider had a different plan for its prey.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I arrived home two hours later feeling like all was well in my little world. I do hope you enjoyed walking with me this morning.

 

 

Comments:

You’ll probably think this is wierd, but I kept sniffing as I looked at your pics. I LOVE the smell of the forest just as much as the sights.  And I’ve never really noticed that many different fungus, I’ll have to keep an eye out for them.

Thanks for the lovely walk Lynne! I needed that….

Thank you for including us on your walk. I love the sights and can feel the cool, crisp fall-like air.

What a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. Joyce

Yes I did enjoy the walk, very much. Love the ‘shroom pics. They really are so otherworldly, aren’t they?

Can’t wait to watch fall’s progress through your pics.

It was GORGEOUS here, too, over the weekend. What a relief!

Glad you all enjoyed “our” little walk together. I will certainly, Reya, be updating the progress of fall through photos. My favorite time of year!

Thank you all!

ooh i feel all refreshed after that walk
would love to take a walk with you in person of course!
ain’t the mushroom and fungi weird?
don’t think i’d like to eat the old man….

Thank you so much for sharing your pictures—they are beautiful!  The mushroom tree is amazing!

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