Friday, August 30, 2013

Hackberry Tree and Butterfly

     I stopped this tree from growing many times because I did not want it in the kid's play yard but since my children have grown and the play yard is no longer suitable for them, I have allowed the tree to grow and boy does it. I have learned to appreciate it with its limbs that reach out for birds to sit on. They can get a little shade after enjoying a bath in the birdbath that is now the main use for the "used to be" play yard. Since the play yard has "gone to the birds" I am happy that I can watch and take pictures of the birds enjoying themselves.

      I have a sprinkler connected to a hose and will turn it on to refill and refresh the birdbath. Sometimes birds will hear the running water and all types will come to drink or bathe. The Hackberry tree located near in the corner near the birdbath provides fruit for the birds in the wintertime. It also provides the Hackberry butterfly or Hackberry Emperor as it is sometimes known, with food with its young leaves.
Hackberry Emperor


Hackberry Tree
This Hackberry tree is about five years old. I have learned to appreciate this tree as our ancestors did so many years ago. Native Americans prepared the fruit with fat and corn for food and would also prepare a paste cooked over fire. The tree can grow up to 80 ft. tall and can live up to 200 years. It is the oldest known foraged tree. It was used as a main source of calories.

Do you have a Hackberry tree in your yard?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's Raining Mushrooms

      I've never seen so many mushrooms. Well, I guess I've never seen it rain this much in one summer either. Usually the rains come in April. It rains the whole month and then the rest of the summer is really hot. Not this year. Mushrooms were constantly popping up everywhere. I enjoyed photographing them. They came in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some were clean and many were dirty.

      I don't know all the names of the mushrooms I photographed. I have tried to look up a few of them, mainly to see if they were common in this area and whether they were poisonous or not. Some people eat mushrooms but they are experts and know which ones are edible and which ones are not. There are poisonous mushrooms that look like nonpoisonous ones. I'm not taking any chances. I'm no expert and anyway I don't think I would like to eat a mushroom because of its texture.

     There are mushrooms clubs or societies whose members enjoy going out and searching for different mushrooms.
Days after I took pictures of the mushrooms I decided to see how many I could gather.

     I was quite surprised that I found as many as I did. I put on my gloves and pulled them out of the ground like you are supposed to. In doing my research I found that there are some mushrooms with anti-cancer properties. I think I will just stick to taking pictures of them and knowing that they are here on earth for some reason. Everything has a purpose whether is it small, tall, clean, dirty, ugly, or pretty. Even fungi have a purpose!


Pictured below are my mushroom finds. I think it would be fun to join a mycological society to learn all about mushrooms. Maybe one day...

Do you like mushrooms? Do you have a favorite one? Have you ever eaten a wild one and if not, would you consider eating one if you knew it was safe?