Monday, September 29, 2008

A Good Fit for Fairies


These mushrooms grow along the pine border in the background of the photo in my last post. They are huge, at least eight to ten inches tall and equally as wide. The day after this was taken, the one in the foreground had a bite out of it, probably nibbled by one of the many deer that come through there every day.

The fields and woods around here are just studded with all kinds of amazing mushrooms. Recent heavy rains have brought in a bumper crop of them, and I simply can't resist a daily foray into the underbrush in search of the exotic and vaguely mysterious little creatures.

Egg Yolk Mushroom

This one and the next are also inhabitants of the pine line. The one above is about three inches tall, shares the edge of the path with the big boys above, and looks like an egg yolk hovering just above the ground. The next one is about six inches tall, and seems to prefer the deep shade back near the tree trunks. See the others in the background?

Amanita Muscaria

Unfortunately, the rains have also increased the mosquito population to nearly intolerable levels. As long as I keep up a brisk walk, I'm relatively safe. But within seconds of stopping for a photograph I am enveloped in a stabbing, buzzing swarm. The last outing cost me 16 new bites. Totally worth it:


Is this cute, or what. It's only about an inch high, and is growing all alone in the middle of a mossy path around the pond. Deeper in the woods, these mottled brown fellows grow among the roots of oaks and beeches...

Brown Bitten Mushroom

Apparently, given all the bites around the edges, some small animal finds them tasty. Below, on an old rotting log, these fragile, ethereal beauties jostle for light like a flight of angels hurrying home to Heaven.

Ethereal Mushrooms

It is difficult to pay attention to camera settings while being eaten alive, so these could be better, I'm sure. Dedication to the perfect shot only carries me so far. But these are my favorites to date, and I hope you like them too.

There is so much work to be done here, and running off to the woods with a camera while cabinets need scrubbing would have been unthinkable a short while ago. However, under my new set of priorities, pleasurable pursuits trump domestic duties. Because I say so.

Clearing the Decks

It's been an exhausting, exciting few days getting ready to move into the new place. The hubby has worked dawn to dusk doing roof repairs, installing a new well tank, and swapping out old, corroded faucets for new ones.

For fun, he takes the new tractor for a spin, poking around for things he can mow, move, or bulldoze. With the water off in the house for the plumbing projects, I haven't gotten much done yet. It's frustrating, but what're ya gonna do.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome to Havenwood

Hello there! Come in and make yourself at home.

This is our un-retirement place in the country, where I've always wanted to be. There are 20 acres divided between woods, wetland woods, tall grass and prairie remnant, and a naturally occurring pond. Plunked in the middle of it all is a typical suburban style house with a bit of garden and a veggie patch.

We are working with the land to preserve native species of all kinds, avoiding chemicals and exploring green ways of living.

We're also taking up hobbies new and old: photography, woodworking, cooking and baking, pottery and gardening.

I hope you'll stop by often and share your own stories. Again, welcome!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: It's Ours!

We closed on the new house today!

I'm still half thrilled and half terrified. We spent the whole day there, the hubby mowing weeds and me exploring nooks and crannies, airing the place out and deciding on paint colors. Now, at last, this is beginning to feel real.

There are some fairly major things that still need doing, foremost among them being pumping out the septic tank and putting in a radon remediation system in the basement. I'll need kitchen appliances, too, which is a whole other post. But I'm excited about all the possibilities of life in the country.

The really nice thing about this place is the variety. There are irrigated open spaces for growing things, a fenced pasture and barn, plus acres of woods and a pond.

Oh yeah. This is gonna be fun.

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(Click photos to enlarge.)