With all the rain we’ve been getting I’ve been discovering fungi everywhere I look. Before my recent fascination with mushrooms, I’d never even noticed that they’re all around me. Now that I’m on the lookout, wow. My own backyard, a walk into town, outside a friends house or on a neighbor’s front lawn - they’re everywhere.
In a completely natural environment, like the arboretum here in town, the variety seems endless. Here’s what I found on a short walk…
Insects fascinate me. I love to observe them in their tiny worlds. I especially appreciate the variety of unique forms they take on, each like a miniature sculpture.
Months ago, when I saw an entomology class offered at the New York Botanical Garden, I signed up. Taught by Tam Nguyen, I loved every second of it, including the exams.
Gain a basic understanding of the structure, growth, ecology, and evolution of insects and their role in human life. Learn how to collect, identify, classify, and preserve a wide variety of insects.
The librarian at the NYBG introduced me to a book which was very helpful in my pursuit to learn more about collecting and preserving specimens!
A key to identify specimens.
Recommended by the librarian at the NYBG. Best book ever.
Advice on recording information in the field.
The class touched on entomophagy:
en•to•moph•a•gy noun The practice of eating insects, especially by people.
I knew this was common in other parts of the world, but hadn’t realized it’s been gaining traction here in the states. Of course I had to try it for myself, but approached it in the tamest way possible and haven’t advanced beyond this point, yet…
Saw a show of Botanical art at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Below are my favorites.
Found some sea urchins today in Sanibel, Florida. I realized the one pictured below was alive when it moved his 'teeth' ever so slightly. Returned it safely to the ocean and later found another without the animal inside. Water color paintings below are inspired by the topside, spikeless.
This will be our second year tapping the two Sugar Maples that grow on our front lawn.
Once the hole is drilled, the sap drips out immediately.
The sap tastes like water but with an earthy sweetness to it. A massive amount of water has to be boiled out before it turns into syrup - about 40 gallons will make just 1 gallon of syrup! But it's so gooood!!!
Spotted these this morning on the library's lawn. Always find good stuff here - galls, acorns, various fungi...
In the Berkshires recently for a weekend to celebrate my sister's 50th. We went to the Botanical Gardens where everything was in bloom...
The tulips have been out for about a week now. These three grow where the crossing guard stands. I'm most drawn to their centers which have a beautiful little design.