Friday, August 19, 2011


I found myself this Friday morning with a few extra minutes to wander around the mountain. The morning was clear and fine, if trending towards hotter again. Weather needs to be pretty bad for me to avoid wandering because of it, and this morning was pretty far along the good side of that scale.

When I wander in an area I know well, I have to pay close attention or my familiarity can keep me from seeing details that are different. I am usually aware this can happen, which helps. With only a few extra minutes in my morning, I didn’t have time to go down into the mountain valley below me or even traipse along one of the woods trails. I had only enough time to wander the edges of the forest, a spot I see about three times a day—leaving and returning to the mountain and walking the dogs in the now nearly dark mornings. So this little patch is about as familiar to me as my own living room, which is why I really wasn’t expecting to find anything I hadn’t seen before. But I did.

This morning I found several lovely yellow mushrooms. I believe the one here is a bolete of some variety, possibly an edible variety, though I have no intention of testing that. I was just drawn to the lovely yellow gills on the underside of the mushroom, and the lovely yellow light of morning on it.

Afterwards I noticed the morning light on the goldenrod weed. Goldenrod gets a bad rap as the plant that many think causes hay fever. Ragweed, which isn’t nearly as pretty, is the allergy culprit, not goldenrod. When you see the one, it’s hard to imagine how the two could ever be confused.

Tall goldenrod
 Goldenrod is mostly considered a weed in North America, probably because it’s not usually planted by humans and grows profusely anywhere it wants to. In some places and among some gardeners that bad rap is beginning to change. In Europe, goldenrod is a frequent garden plant, but here not many gardeners favor it, though some inroads are being made. The goldenrod family has many species, at least 50 in North America. The one I’ve pictured today is the one most common to my area, the tall goldenrod.

And lastly, the golden light of a late summer’s morning, long shadows over grass, to go with the golden mushroom and goldenrod. During late summer, a bright golden shade of sunlight rules the mornings. In July the light is a more lemon-yellow. By November, the light will have a reddish or bronze cast to it. But in August the light and at least a few of the plants are simply golden.


Woodswalker said...

Lovely! Your photos evoke a nice mellow mood.

jeannette said...

Thanks for sharing- this is the first time I see a yellow one!

Carolyn H said...

Jeanette: I think it's the first time I've seen a mushroom quite this yellow, tool