Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have questions.

Weekend field trip to Huntington Reservoir and River, the site where in 1988 a Mastodon elephant's body was found, intact, after 11,000 years in a bog. The reservoir was under construction when a backhoe operator dug up what at first looked like a log.

Upon further examination, it was determined to be bone and a paleontologist was called in. The mastodon body was so well preserved that it was possible to tell what he had last eaten (pine needles) his age (65, with a lot of arthritis) and lots of other details.

Question: Is it possible that more such bones are lurking under the wildflowers in the hills?

Question: Wouldn't it be amazing to start digging a cabin foundation and come across another mastodon?

The area had flooded three days earlier and mushrooms were everywhere!

Question: Is this mushroom safe to eat?

Question: What does it look like underneath the cap?

Answer to that second question: It looked like this...
(Still don't know if I could have cooked it up...)

The last of the season's flowers were going to seed.

Question: What is this thing?

Pretty pods...

The pine beetle has been in the area.

Question: Can that clump on the skeletal tree remains still stay alive if it is parasitic like holly?

The Huntington river was running crystal clear and I could count all the trout as they swam about. This was a brook trout.
Question: Why are Huntington trout so uppity that they ignore every kind of fly that Bernie cast RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM???
(Answer: I think they were just full of bugs that the rain and flood had washed into the river earlier.)
Question: How can such slimy looking stuff produce such pretty flowers on the water?

Question: So, the mushrooms completely open underground and then push up through the moss?

Question: Could I eat these mushrooms?

We hiked up a trail aside the river. You can see the sedimentary layers that formed over time. See the tiny thin layers towards the top?

Question: If the great sea that went from Arizona up to Idaho was formed during the Biblical flood, then why were there layers formed?

(No question here. It is just beautiful to look at.)

I liked the little peek-a-boo window beneath this boulder.

Question: When did this boulder fall into the river?

Question: How long will it take for the river to knock the rock off its perch?

The thistles were starting to bloom.

Question: How can something be so prickly and yet have such soft flowers?

The field asters were blooming nicely too.

Question: Why were some asters pale lavender while others were deep purple?

A fallen tree with fantastic root structure that looks like a dragon chomping down on something.
Question: How could such delicate roots not be more broken up from being ripped from the soil?

More mushrooms. I had no idea that their stems were bright yellow until I pushed a couple over.

Question: Can I eat THESE mushrooms?

End of the day...the sun setting on the river bend.
We saw deer and a badger on the drive home.
Question: Why is it that I have now seen two badgers in one month after 56 years of never seeing even one before?
PS: I will be getting a field guide to mushrooms. There were soooo many of them and so many types I thought it was awful that some of them might have been delicious and I didn't know it.
I've seen people out harvesting mushrooms all the time around here.
There must be some good ones out there but I'm not going to dare to eat any of them until I know how to tell a safe mushroom from a deadly one!


ellen b. said...

Well my dear...I cannot answer one of your questions but I'm happy to see you have about as many questions in your head as I do :0)
Lovely photos!
Lingonberries!? My poor husband has been overrun by Russians that don't do lingonberries. I might have to treat him with some soon...

Vee said...

My! That is a lot of questions. I'm so glad that I don't have to wrest that mushroom from your grip. Phew! I didn't know where we were heading with that one. Do they offer courses on mushroom identification via adult education? I was nearly tempted to take one a few years back when I realized that I don't like mushrooms that much.

Just a little something from Judy said...

You came to my blog and gave me some help. Now I come to you and do not have answers for any of your questions. Sure wish that I did though. You did make me smile as I read the questions since my husband tells me I constantly have a questioning mind. Beautiful photography!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Good question...each of them. And nice pictures to go with them. And I know you will be doing your research...and there will be answers coming.