Pretty… and deadly?

Okay, so I’ve managed to upload enough pictures to complete a few posts – if not in the way I originally planned! There are power outages in the area due to the storm so I figured, if I’m going to do it, do it now!

A few days back, I was able to get some really interesting photos around the yard. Especially images of various mushrooms that have been growing.

I must say, it feels strange to be posting this on a day when the ground is now covered in heavy snow!

This patch caught my eye because of the way it frames the drip line of the spruce tree nearby.

This patch is an odd one. It’s the only area where there are SO MANY all in one area. At first, I thought maybe the wood chips we used as mulch may have contributed, but the other areas using the same mulch do not have this.

Unfortunately, the haskap bush (female) in the first photo, which had been doing so well all summer, suddenly seems to have died. You can barely even see it in the photo, among the stems of the flowers. I find myself wondering if the mushrooms might have contributed to its demise. The other haskap (male) seems to be okay, though it does not have as many mushrooms growing beside it.

Next spring, I’ll have to pick up at least one female haskap transplant. Or more. With this one dying, it means there’s no chance of having berries next year. 😦

While going around the yard, I spotted the tiniest of splashes of colour on an old tree stump I uncovered while clearing the old wood pile. The next day was our one hot day, and that seems to have damaged them, so I’m glad to have gotten a few photos. I’ve never seen anything like them before!

I had company while I was walking around the yard, taking pictures. I had to laugh when, once again, as I tried to get photos of this particular mushroom, I had a cat jump up and interrupt. LOL

I’ve been going a bit of research, and it seems that these tree mushrooms that are growing on the maples may be oyster mushrooms. Which means they are edible!

We won’t be taking any chances, though, but it was interesting to read about.

These ones I found, pushing their way through the leaves, looked really interesting!

I found these interesting, too. With all the rain, there has been a notable increase of growth on the trees themselves.

The lichen, I’m used to seeing. Finding new moss establishing itself among the lichen was cool. Little baby mosses! πŸ™‚

Then I noticed one of the trees I was taking pictures of, has a big crack in it! Something to watch out for when we have high winds, such as today.

While doing my research on what sorts of fungi were growing on our trees, I made a discovery.

The photo on the left is on the stump of an apple tree my sister had pruned back before we moved out here. The tree had some growth that first summer, but it did not survive the winter. Recently, we spotted the fascinating fungal grown on it. The purple makes it really stand out.

It turns out to be something called Chondrostereum purpureum.

And it’s a disease. Silver leaf disease, so be exact.

How to get rid of it

Many plants will recover naturally from an attack of silver leaf, so it’s best to wait some time after you’ve noticed the silvering before you take action. If branches start to die back as a result of the disease they should be pruned back beyond the spread of the brown colouration, to the next adjoining stem.

Where the entire plant is infected, or silvering starts to appear on suckers growing from the roots/rootstock, then it is infected throughout and should be removed (roots and all) and destroyed (burned). This should be done before September to prevent the spores developing and spreading to other plants. Don’t leave the wood lying around as this may become a source of infection for other plants.

Is it good for anything?!

No.

Wow. Okay.

Actually, I did find that there is a use for it. It’s used to deliberately infect problem trees to get rid of them.

So I went back and looked at the other trees, and found some growing on the remains of a crabapple tree that had already been cut to ground level.

We weren’t able to go anything about it before the storm hit. Hopefully, it won’t infect the other trees. At least we now know about it, and what to do – or not do – to deal with it.

Once this storm is passed, we’re supposed to actually warm up a bit; the snow on the ground will likely not last. Here’s hoping! We still have quite a lot to do outside before winter hits!

The Re-Farmer

Mystery critter: what are you?

It’s been another very wet day today (I’ve read that, last month, we got triple the average amount of rain for our region; it doesn’t seem to be letting up this month, yet). We did manage to get a dump run in. Because of when it closes on Saturdays, and when my younger daughter gets off work, we left it to near closing time, then just continued on to town. After running some errands, we had time enough to hit the beach and look for interesting things.

Along with fascinating bones and interesting rocks, we found a tiny surprise.

What follows are pictures of a dead creature, so for those who don’t like seeing that, I’ll post it after the jump.

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Newcomer

We just got visited by a new cat today, outside our living room window, so of course we went a little overboard with the pictures! πŸ˜€

My daughter spotted him and got the first few photos through the lilac bushes.

He was lurking where we leave food for Junk Pile kitten still, even though he now regularly goes to the house, and even into the sun room, for food. Because I usually have 3 or 4 cats following me as I put food out, I spread it out, including on this log I brought over for a seat. I don’t know how much food was left around there, but it looks like our visitor found at least a little to eat!

The number of cats lurking around the house has dropped quite a bit over the last while. Of the visiting toms, only Nicky the Nose has been showing up once in a while, and he quickly leaves. I haven’t seen Slick or Not-Slick in a month or two. Even of our own adult cats, most seem to have moved on; I haven’t seen Guildenstern, Jim, Bob or Rolando Moon in a long time. Rosencrantz comes by, but not often; Beep Beep and Butterscotch both tend to chase her off! Doom Guy is the only adult male still hanging around, and he hasn’t been well. We did get medication for him and he has gotten better, but he still prefers to spend most of his time in the sun room or near the house.

We shall see who starts showing up again in the winter, when food and shelter will be more reliable.

We will be keeping an eye out for our newcomer, too!

The Re-Farmer

Bonus Photo of the day: a chunk of my childhood

While cleaning up yesterday, under where the last chimney block had been sitting, having picked up the broken glass and other garbage I could see, I walked over the area and stepped on something buried in the dirt.

I figured it was either a rock or a brick, so I pulled it out.

As soon as I saw the distinctive colour through the dirt, I knew exactly what it was, and childhood memories came flooding back.

I brought it in and gave it a good scrubbing, but after probably 3 or more decades in the dirt, it will need more. The main part of the stone is a surprisingly bright greenish blue colour, and the layer on one end is a bright, creamy white.

This was one of those things that was found around the farm; probably in a field somewhere. I don’t know what type of rock it is, but it is completely different from any other rock typically found in the area. I remember, as a child, holding it and admiring the colours, textures and the abrupt contrast between the white and green portions. It absolutely fascinated me!

I was quite into rocks when I was a kid.

I still am! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Exposed

We had a full moon last night and I went out to experiment with some long exposure shots using my phone’s camera.

I have a mini Gorilla Pod that I bought before the move, but haven’t had a chance to use other than testing it when I first bought it. I was able to use it to attach my phone to our driveway gate for a few shots, then at one of the wagon wheels on the fence beside the gate for a few more.

First, my favourite of the bunch.

This was taken from the wagon wheel beside the gate, using the manual setting on the camera. To be honest, I can barely see the numbers on the screen, so I was really winging it when adjusting the settings. For this one, it was taken using f/1.5, 4 second exposure, ISO-50.

This one was taken just a few minutes earlier, from the gate.

It’s a terrible picture, but it demonstrates just how much colour and brightness a long exposure can capture, even in the dead of night!

f/1.5, 30 second exposure, ISO-3200.

While I was taking shots at the gate, I flipped the camera and took a shot of the sky. So this next photo was taken in the exact same location as the bright photo above; just pointing the camera lens straight up.

I was really surprised by how blue the sky turned out! Other pictures I tried later, with longer exposures, from further down the driveway had a black sky. Possibly because this area was much brighter from the full moon?

f/1.5, 10 second exposure, ISO-1600

I’m rather liking this little Gorilla Pod I have! One of these days, I’ll even be able to use it for the purpose I bought it – once I reclaim my crafting table. :-/

The Re-Farmer

A cool find!

This morning, after dropping my daughter off at work, I took the time to check out the beach and take a walk.

It was really quite gorgeous.

As always, I keep an eye out for interesting things washed up by the waves and tides. For myself, I look for interesting rocks. For my older daughter, I look for interesting… anything.

And, wow, did I ever hit the jackpot today!!

At first glance, I actually thought it was some washed up, crumpled plastic or something.

I’ve found the odd jaw bone of a fish before, but never an entire skull! It’s pretty big, too. About the size of the palm of my hand. Slightly longer, in fact.

I have no clue what it is, though. That bone “sail” at the back of the skull is fascinating.

Does anyone recognize what it is?

Also, it rattles. There is something stuck inside the skull. Sounds like a small pebble.

As I write this, it is being disinfected! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

Critter of the Day: just jogging (plus bonus mystery critter)

We haven’t been seeing deer much lately, though as fall approaches, we are starting to see them in the fields as we drive by again.

Once in a rare while, I will see on in the trail cam, going down our driveway and jumping the chain. I haven’t seen any since the gate got replaced.

Until I checked the files, yesterday.

The motion sensor was triggered by this lone deer, jogging down the road! πŸ˜€

I also saw something interesting flash by during the night.

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