September 12 – Identification

22 Sep

I spent some time entering the species mentioned in Dad’s notes and in “the cottage books” into a spreadsheet to attempt to get a  central record of every species seen on the property.  Here’s a little excerpt I found that I just love –

July 8, 1979 – (entry by CJ in the cottage book)  “Saw the “bird of the year” this AM near the sand pit – a black billed cuckoo!! A life first for C.J. 

Talking with Roy Peters yesterday, he insists that each spring the government drops dragonflies from planes to combat black flies.  Home in the afternoon”

That’s a beauty!

And I call myself the Mighty Naturalist…  There I was tramping through the forest, blithely pulling individual leaves off of trees thinking I would bring them back and flip, flip, flip… the books would tell me what they were.  Shows how much I know – without information about if the leaves were growing simple or compound off the twig and how many leaves, if there was fruit or flowers etc, how can I identify them?  Dolt.

A few groups Dad did not mention in his  lists are the mosses and lichens, mushrooms and fungus.   I only have a portion of all that he documented, so perhaps he listed them in some book or database that has been lost.  As the mosses and lichens are my personal favourites, I shall identify as many as I can this week.  Here’s a start;

moss 1

Lush and green and soft.  Some monks hood lichen mixed with peat moss… Look closely there in the lower right.. here I’ll magnify it for you… what is that?  moss 1a

Could it  a bit of false pixie cup peeking through?

A truly good book is something as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvelous, ambrosial and fertile, as a fungus or a lichen.

-Thoreau, Henry David


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