nature notes, October 2

  • Everything’s coming up fungus! Fall is such a great time for mushrooms. I’d like to learn how to identify more of them; I bought a guidebook that seems useful, but it also seems like fungus identification is often a difficult task.
  • Recent critter sightings (in addition to the mushrooms) include a number of Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) woodpeckers, quite a lot of small frogs too covered in mud for me to identify, some lovely Towhees, abundant ducks including male mallards molting from their eclipse plumage into their more recognizable iridescent greens, lots of Painted Turtles, Beech-Drops (that one’s a plant), adorable little Bladderworts (that’s a plant too, but it’s carnivorous), and a couple of Great Blue Herons, which I always love to see- they’re so graceful and majestic.
  • I found a new place to hike that’s accessible by public transit! It’s a lovely area around a pond, with pine woods as well as marshland, and it’s particularly well-known as a birding spot. Birding is not always my favorite activity—birds are very fast and easily startled, so they’re hard to photograph—but I’m interested in getting better at it.
  • I bought myself one of those cargo vests with lots of pockets to wear when I’m hiking. I feel pretty dorky wearing it, but honestly, it’s extremely convenient. I love the leggings I wear for hiking—the stretch is so important to me—but unfortunately, they don’t have usefully sized pockets for my needs.
  • My goal for October is to get outside much more frequently. That will be a challenge on two different levels. One, it will involve considerably more physical activity than I’m used to. Two, to open up time to spend outside, I’ll have to push myself to fulfill my other responsibilities faster and more efficiently. I’m very lucky to have a flexible job, but in order to get the most out of that flexibility, I need to get better at self-motivated time management. But the New England woods in October are SO worth it—this is really the pinnacle of the year here in Massachusetts.
  • I would like to also write more blog posts, and more specific blog posts on particular topics. Posting nature notes does help me to stay connected when I don’t have the time or inclination to write something longer, though.

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