I was preparing a post on how much I hate money but I scrapped it.  Writing it did not make me happy.  Life is too short for that, so I stopped.   We went for a walk instead. There is so much life in our backwoods.  I believe you could stare at a small patch of ground for hours and still not discover everything. There are baby toads. DSCF8193 DSCF8238 Monotropa uniflora- also called the ghost plant, Indian pipe, or corpse plant.

Since does not contain chlorophyll, it is parasitic and takes energy indirectly from birtch trees through the mycorrihizal mushrooms that attach themselves to the roots of the trees. This makes it rare and hard to propagate since its relationship with the forest is so complicated and fragile.

You can see what I think is the web of fungi that sustains this flower when you scrape away the top layers of leaves.
You can see what I think is the web of fungi that sustains this flower when you scrape away the top layers of leaves.

In our woods it is everywhere!  We even have the red verities that are even rarer than the while and grey varitials.  This could be something else since everything I read says that indian pipe only has one flower and these have many. DSCF8282 We have some amazing quartz that just pops out of the ground in many spots. It is shot through with mica, making it extra shinny. DSCF8180 That is not even counting the mushrooms and other fungi. These are either coral types or the more specific Beautiful Clavaria.  I can’t tell the difference.

We have jelly mushrooms.

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(and a kid crock for scale)

As well as the bacteria Hypomyces lactifluorum on the proptery which makes the coveted ‘lobster mushroom.’  Only this is not a type of mushroom- rather, it is a  parasite of Lactarius piperatus or Russula brevipes and covers the entire fruit body with an orange skin.  It is possible to have a poisonous lobster mushroom and the covering of this bacteria makes identifying the mushroom underneath even more difficult.

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We also have slugs, obviously.

DSCF8178 DSCF8272 Ours seem to grow in groups of almost straight lines… Odd. DSCF8271   We have Sickners (a type of Russella) they are a striking red.

We found these little red jelly like ones too. DSCF8277 DSCF8184 I have no idea what they are- along with many others.  Good thing we only have plans to look at them- NOT EAT THEM!

Some of them are adorned with natural jewels. DSCF8212 DSCF8231 Some are almost up to an eight year old’s shins. DSCF8215 A few got a pretty leaf hat. DSCF8247   It was a much better use of my time than musing over all the way money makes people unhappy.  I am glad I didn’t persist in my endeavor.  I was blessed with wonderful company and many uniquely singular beings to share my morning with. The heavy rains and thunderstorms of the recent days have given us a lot to look at, but it cost us some corn.  Ok a lot of corn. DSCF8289 It might stand back up.  If it doesn’t we have more…

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