This nature walk was inspired by having to catch my horse, who insisted on escaping during the coldest days of the year. Every day, usually around dark, he would break through the fence! It has been about three weeks since this started, and he has now been in for five consecutive days, so I'm hoping I've finally got him trapped.
Anyway, on this particularly day, we went on a horse hunt, because he wasn't in his usual spots. We walked down to the valley below the house, near the creek, where it is often wet and marshy. The wet spots you see are actually ice, so The Boy had a grand time walking around on it.
After walking to the end of the valley, we came back through the woods. It was gorgeous, brisk, and full of limbs the path that we moved out of the way. Since we weren't tramping too quickly through the woods, we spotted deer tracks, some gross black mushrooms (below), and these cool, twisted trees. I haven't figured out what sort they are, but The Boy quickly determined that the twisting was due to vines growing around the young trunks. The vines are still there in the top picture, but in the bottom one, either the vine fell off or is now inside the trunk. Fascinating.
After coming back via the woods, the horse was standing near one of his gates, waiting for food (sigh), so I let him in, then snapped this picture of the ice and snow-covered pond below. The Boy wanted to know why it was melting in circles, and my best answer was that it warms up around the edges first, and the warmth spreads equally. (Was I right?) That doesn't explain that dark spot near the middle though...could be where he through a rock in, because one can't have ice without throwing a rock on it when one is 10 years old.
And here are a couple of photographs of one of the black mushrooms we found - does anyone know what kind they are? We also found several smaller, spongy yellow ones but I didn't get pictures of those.
|top of mystery mushroom, before we disturbed it|
|underside of the mystery mushroom|
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