The Magical Mushroom Path

Hello, dears!

A little while ago, I took a walk in the woods which I will never forget. I found a trail of mushrooms leading me into the forest, where I found more mushrooms with more variety than I have EVER seen before! I can’t wait to tell you that story and show you some of my favorite pictures. Continue reading

Expeditions & Discoveries {Spring Walks}

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Hello, dears!

We’ve been going on exploratory walks around our farm almost every Sunday lately and it is SO much fun! Also I’ve taken SO many pictures! XD I seriously have way too many post ideas to keep up, so I’m going to combine a few walks into one post. Enjoy the virtual sunshine! 😀

On the first walk, we explored the woods beside Dad’s shop. Fern fiddleheads were unrolling everywhere and bright little violets popped up by tree roots covered in moss… ahh, I loved it. ❤ There were also carpets of mayapple plants, which I’d never seen before. Interesting.

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This was about a month ago, when leaves and buds were just starting to come out.

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Aren’t fiddleheads adorable? 😀

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HA HA for some reason this just looks really funny to me. XD It’s like the tree has a tiny nose. Maybe I should draw a face around it. 😛

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I LOVE MOSS. ❤

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Ooh, I really like this picture, particularly the lighting! The violet is a little blurry, but I love the golden light. I don’t exactly know how I got this one, but I do know I didn’t edit it.

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The roots are so neat, don’t you think?

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As you can see, the leaves were DEFINITELY not out yet.

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While walking back we saw a deep puddle that was literally TEEMING with tadpoles! There were hundreds if not a thousand. O.o I have never seen so many tadpoles in one place in my life!

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The puddle nearly dried up a while ago and left a lot of dead tadpoles in the sun, but it rained just in time to save the rest. 😛 I should go check them again… last time I saw them they looked pretty much like this:

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Next we have the walk in which we went down to our bigger stream and Carmen, Jeff, and Megan all swam even though they had regular clothes on and it wasn’t exactly hot. XD

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HA HA I love this. XD

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They seemed to be having a pretty good time, but I decided against joining them. 😛

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Wow, that was a short walk. Anyway, the next one is at our smaller pond. We got a canoe at the auction after we bought the new farm, but it kinda leaked. So Dad and the boys patched it up, we got oars, and ta-daa!

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This woods had some lovely beeches, and everything was SO GREEN!

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This tree was huge and gorgeous. ❤ We came back to this spot for my birthday and had a dessert picnic with chocolate pecan pie. 😀 Yep, it was DELICIOUS. And then Carmen and I worked on a fairy house in these roots because I’d told her I would. 🙂 It was fun, but got dark really quickly. (Also I don’t have any pictures of that night, sorry. :/ )

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We also want to make a fairy house here sometime. 🙂

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Now, onto the next walk! This is the most recent. Last Sunday, in fact. I think these flowers are called phlox, but whatever they are, they certainly made the side of the trail pretty! ❤

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I brought my sketchbook and some drawing utensils along but didn’t end up using them that much. I did get a little sketch done, though. (Also this picture was super hard to get, but I like how it turned out.)

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I’m fascinated with reflections and light and water, together or separate. 😀

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Mom and Carmen and I (and later Dad) wandered along the smaller creek that we call Little Runny. The air was hot and muggy, so the shade and water felt amazing.

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Mom found a few tulip-tree blooms and wanted me to take a picture of it for our house. I was quite happy to oblige, of course! 😀 Tulip-tree flowers are strange: green and orange and lily-shaped, with maple-like leaves. Certainly unique.

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Carmen wanted to show me a “swimming hole” she’d found, which wasn’t actually quite deep enough to swim in. XD

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While we were there, I saw a little water strider and the ripples it made looked neat, so obviously I had to take a picture. 😛

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Ooh, I love this one!

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This stretch of Little Runny has sand instead of rocks! The riverbed is a mixture of sand and mud, which feels so good to bare feet. There are also random sandbars scattered like tiny beaches by the creek. The first time I saw them I was really surprised that they weren’t manmade.

Anyway, Carmen and I decided to try and build a sandcastle on one of the “beaches.” I think it turned out pretty cute for only having our hands to work with. (Thanks to my mom for taking this picture!)

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(Heh heh, once I started using this filter it was hard to stop. Oops.) I love this picture too! Isn’t it so cute and aesthetic? It looks like a summer beach photo instead of a spring creek photo. 😛

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Maggie also came along with us. She loves to wade in the streams and puddles, even though she never swims in deep ponds and stuff. Isn’t she so cute?

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And now let me end with this cool, refreshing picture. 😀 I love the colors in this one!

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And there you have a small sampling of my many spring pictures. Going outside at this time of the year is quite dangerous for me if I intend the pictures for my blog because I JUST CAN’T. KEEP. UP. But you know, I think that’s rather a good problem to have. 😉

Do you always take an excessive amount of pictures in spring too? Which is your most photographed season? And do you have a favorite or favorites of these pictures? I’d love to hear!

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day! ❤

***Allison***

Hidden Pictures #1

Thank you, Clara, for suggesting this post idea! 😀 I’m really excited to show you this, guys! It’s similar to my mystery pictures posts, but more like “I Spy.” I’m going to list the hidden items for you to find, then give you several pictures with those items hidden somewhere inside. I also included a few extra pictures that don’t have any of the hidden items to make it a bit more tricky. 😀

These are six things to find in the pictures below.

  • a butterfly
  • a mushroom
  • a gnat
  • a grasshopper
  • a pinecone
  • an ant

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By the way, this is not the mushroom you have to find. I wouldn’t go THAT easy on you. XD

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Since I haven’t done this before, would you guys mind telling me your opinions on it? Was this too easy? Too hard? Just right? Do you like this kind of posts or not?

I hope you had fun! Oh, and if you need a hint, I’d be glad to help you out in the comments. 🙂

***Allison***

P. S. Autumn is in full swing here, guys! A few of our trees are practically burning up with fall colors. Ahh, so pretty. 🙂

 

Birthday Hike

Hey guys! I took gobs of pictures on the hike I went on for my birthday. Lots. Of. Pictures. I’m going to be showing you only some, but still a ginormous amount. 😀 Are you ready for this? Okay. Blastoff in 3… 2… 1… 1/2… 1/4… 1/187,990… okay, okay. XD Now!

When we went on the first trail, it was really foggy and rainy. We decided to come back to it later when it was sunny, but I got some neat pictures before we left.

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Ooh, spooky. Just kidding! 😀

Doesn’t the next one seem sort of like a writing prompt? (I edited it.)

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Next we went on a hike that was lovely and beautiful on the way down, but exhausting on the way up.

Flower pictures. 🙂

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I love this dewdrop picture:

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I have no idea what these weird corncobby fungi things are, but they’re neat looking!

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One tree had all kinds of different fungi on it.

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Millipede!

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The next trail was really rocky and mossy. I love rocks and moss! 😀

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This looks like an action shot even though it isn’t.

Sometimes you had to climb over boulders like this:

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I made collages of the many pictures of moss and fungus I took, because otherwise you would be here all day. XD

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Aren’t they so pretty? (And sometimes weird?)

Views from an overlook beside the path:

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At the top it was kind of scary because there were drop-offs on every side of you, and the path was really narrow. You had to climb over boulders that were less than two feet away from the edge to get to the top! *Shiver* 😛 But the view was amazing!

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On the way down we made a little fairy house, or rather fairy bedroom.

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My friend spotted these perfect, tiny spiderwebs. She got way better pictures than me. 😉

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Are you photo-weary yet? XD Did you have a favorite picture?

***Allison***

 

Photos from of Old: Entry 3

About time for another one of these, eh? These photos were taken in the summer of 2013.

First some snail pictures… (I remember I was pretty proud of these when I took them. XD And I still like them!)

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Now some flowers…

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Tiger Lily

I took this picture one night when after a family walk. Isn’t it adorable? (All of these next few pictures are edits of the original.)

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My dad, my littlest sister Carmen, and my mom. 😀
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It looks cute in B&W too. 🙂
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Carmen is a rainbow!

I requested my siblings to pose for this one; I think I meant it to look similar to the last photo. They look so cute and tiny (well, younger at least XD) in this photo!

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Megan, Carmen, and Jeff. Just look at Carmen’s little curly head!

An edited clouds-over-field photo…

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And lastly, two miscellaneous nature photos: a mushroom and bedewed leaf.

 

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Thanks for time-traveling with me!

***Allison***

P. S. Recently my littlest sister Carmen has been determined to learn how to fly. XD XD XD She asks Mom if it’s possible for people to fly, and Mom explains that God just didn’t make humans to able to fly. But she thinks that maybe she’ll be the first person ever to do it! XD XD XD It cracks me up! But it’s adorable too. 😀 Hey, we all wish we could fly, right? One can always dream…

P. P. S. I have 111 followers! Besides the fact that that’s amazing, and “Thank you so much guys,” (but seriously – THANK YOU!), isn’t 111 such a fun number?! XD

Path-Breakers (and Other Woodsy Stuff)

We were recently at my grandparents’ house for three days while my parents when on an anniversary trip, and during that time we made ourselves a path through their woods. It was so fun! (But, heh heh, I had to pay for it – my face is half covered in poison ivy rash now. Yeah. But it’s not so bad, actually. It doesn’t itch that much right now, although when I woke up today my face was all puffy. XD )

Oh, and sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures of the path. 😦

*Bursts into laughter* I’m just kidding – of COURSE I took pictures. XD XD

We made the path by clearing away the leaves, rocks, nuts, and sticks; and pulling out and trimming the many roots, saplings, and maybe the occasional unbeknownst poison ivy vine. 😉 It was hard work, my friends. But it was FUN!

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The beginning of the path (and my brother with a wheelbarrow).

But the our pride and joy was a nice-sized clearing we made in the woods. We even cut down a smallish tree with a handsaw that was in the way. (Uh-huh, yep! XD ) For the clearing, we made sure the ground was especially clear and free of stumps and other poky things because we wanted to be able to walk there barefoot. After we got it all cleared we rimmed the whole thing with rocks which we brought to the clearing via wheelbarrow. Then we added a fire ring (made from rocks), chairs (from stumps), a bench (from stumps and a board), and little table (also from a stump), and hung up a hammock (which we didn’t make. 😀 ).

 

Ta-daa!

You can see the size of the clearing best in the third picture.

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Now for some more detailed views.

You can see in the picture above that we made a little fire, but we had to put it out because sparks were kind of flying about, and we weren’t hankering after a forest fire. :/ We might try again when it’s wetter outside. We specifically made the fire ring around the stump of the tree we cut down so that we could burn it off.

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Stump-chairs and the bench:

We dragged this stump to the clearing for a little table/chair. (The white thing is a quartz rock)

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The day we made the clearing, Megan found a snail and a salamander. We made them our “mascots” and put them on the stump in a little container. And the next day they had disappeared. 😦 XD

I only have pictures of the snail, but you can go to my sister’s post about this here to see a picture of (the back of) the salamander.

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Aren’t snail shells beautiful? I love the way God designed them.

And the hammock… ahh!

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Looking up at the sky from the hammock…

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I can’t wait to see the path in spring! All the new leaves and blooming forsythia bushes will make it beautiful.

So far the path is about 400 feet (we added some past the clearing too), and we’re going to keep making it longer!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. 🙂

***Allison***

P. S. Before you leave I wanted to show you some neat pictures I took of my sister puffing a puffball. I LOVE puffballs, don’t you?! 😀 (Click on a pictures to enlarge.)

P. P. S. I took gobs more pictures of things like sunsets and farm landscapes while I was at my grandparents’ house, so look for those soon. (By the way, my grandparents live just up the road – we are so blessed!)

Photography Tidbits

Over the weeks, I inevitably collect some random photos that don’t ever make it into regular posts, which is why I make this kind of post! Enjoy the random photo-ness. 🙂

I cut the end off of an orange to slice it, like normal, and found this cute little orange-face grinning back at me!

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Here is a picture I edited with my camera with the “Painting” setting. (Click on any individual picture in a collage to enlarge it.)

I got these animal pictures when we went to the Science Museum with our friends recently.

More funny food! This guy is made from Swiss cheese, crackers, applesauce (for the pupils), and a pickled onion. XD

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My little sister swinging. 🙂

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Mushrooms!

And Coffee Bean’s eye. (A moment of silence for Coffee Bean. *sniff*)

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I hope you enjoyed the “random assorted flavors of Allison’s photography!” 🙂

***Allison***

 

A Lesson on Mushrooms & Fungi

We learned about mushrooms and lichen in our recent nature study. I thought they were really interesting, so I decided to do a post about them. But don’t worry – I included a bunch of pictures that I took, along with the facts.

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First, mushrooms – A mushroom starts from a tiny spore, which is like a speck of dust. The spores come from the gills of a mushroom (on the underside).

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I think the little “dust specks” in this picture are actually spores! It’s a super-cropped picture of the gills of the mushroom above.

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The spore “seed” sends out a network of tiny roots called mycelium. The roots are white and extremely thin. Mushrooms grow up from these roots. Sometimes the mushrooms pop up in a circle called a ‘fairy ring.’ Can’t you just imagine the fairies coming out from their mushroom homes and holding a meeting in the middle of this fairy ring?! 😀

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An important thing to remember about mushrooms is don’t pick and eat a mushroom from the wild. They are likely poisonous. Yeah, I know, you have probably already heard that at least a million times. But now you’ve heard it a million and one. 🙂

There are a few signs especially that tell you that a mushroom is poisonous:

  1. Scales covering the mushroom
  2. A sac at the bottom of the mushroom stem
  3. Mushrooms with shiny or brightly colored caps

But just because a mushroom does not have these characteristics does not mean it is OK to eat. The bottom line is, just don’t eat a mushroom unless it comes from a grocery store.

Here is a mushroom with a shiny cap – it must be poisonous! But not to the touch – I hope. Hee-hee!

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And more mushrooms we’ve found…

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Now for lichen and fungi. I mostly have pictures for this section, but there are a few interesting facts about them too.

  1. Bracket fungi – Fungus comes in a variety of different colors and shapes. Some of kinds are quite pretty, and some are deadly to trees. Bracket fungus is a very common kind of fungus. You can see it often on dead trees or rotting logs. Some species of bracket fungi will enter a tree through a “wound,” like where a limb has been chopped off, or where an axe cut into the wood. It spreads its mycelium, or roots, into the wood of the tree and sometimes kills it.
  2. Lichen – Lichen also comes in a variety of shapes and colors. You can find lichen all over the place!

Here is a collage of both fungi and lichen:

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It’s amazing how varied and beautiful God made even these lowly plants! I especially love mushrooms. They’re so cute and beautiful and interesting! And the funny thing is, I don’t even really like to eat mushrooms – especially cooked ones. I’ll just take pictures instead. 😛

By the way, most if not all of this information is from the book we use for nature study called – The Handbook of Nature Study. (Click on the link to take you to an Amazon listing. One comment says that it doesn’t include one part of the book, so you might want to check that out.)  It’s a pretty hefty book, but it’s very interesting and useful, especially for… well… nature study.

Would you like me to do more of these nature posts? Have a great day! And tell me if you find any mushrooms, fungi, or lichen!

**Allison***

Crystal Pond, and Treasures Found There

Somewhere on a farm, hidden away in its own little secret world of trees and brush, there is a pond whose shores are littered with millions of sparkling quartz crystals… Well, OK, Crystal Pond isn’t quite as romantic and fairy-tale-like as all that, but it is still one of my favorite places on our farm.

Don’t get confused by the name – the water in the pond isn’t crystal clear, but rather the land around the pond has pretty quartz crystals scattered on it. Sometimes there are a bunch of crystals, sometimes… not so much, especially when the pond is high. The bad thing is, the pond is kind of surrounded by a defense wall of thorns, prickly evergreens, and brush. Yeah, it’s just a tad hard to get to. But once you get inside, it’s nice and quiet and peaceful. There is always some treasure waiting to be found along the shores or in the scrubby woods beside the pond. Crystal Pond has several of my favorite things around it: water, moss, rocks, and mushrooms!

Here are, um… a LOT of photos.

Moss:

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A beautiful quartz crystal!

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This rock looks like it has a heart in it.

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And… lots of mushrooms!

Aren’t these such cute little mushrooms? They look like they are made of playdough or something.

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And some close-ups:

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I also found a strange, lonely, frilly mushroom with no identity tag. Does anyone know what it is?

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And some other things:

A pill bug going busily about his day (I edited this picture),

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An interesting plant (I think maybe a Chinese lantern?),

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Some bright red berries,

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An ivy vine with berries,

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And a beautiful pine tree.

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And that’s it! Are you still awake? 😛 If so, what was one of your favorite pictures from this post?

Bye ’til later!

***Allison***