When I was out on Sunday, the woods were starting to dry out but were still damp yet. It was hot and humid so I spent a lot of my time hiking in the creek and its tributaries again and I'm still seeing lots of mushrooms and other fungi. Wildflowers are going strong too; Pennsylvania Smartweed and Mouse-Ear Forget Me Nots are still blooming and I'm look forward to the Yellow and Purple Ironweeds which should be coming in a few weeks.
Pennsylvania Smartweed blooms from June to September and I commonly find it along old roads and trails in the woods. The flower blossoms are so small that I have a hard time getting good photos of it, but it's worth the trouble since they're so pretty.
Turkeytail Mushrooms are one of my all time favorite mushrooms. The variety of colors they display is unbelievable and they seem to get even more colorful in winter... which can add a spot of color to an otherwise grey, winter day.
There are many species of Forget Me Nots from all over the world, but I believe that the species here is one of those indigenous to our area. And I recently read a reference where Thoreau called them "Mouse-Ear" Forget Me Nots... I like that name.
Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies are very common on Little Sewickley Creek. The females have a white dot at the top of their wings that is clearly visible, whereas the males have metallic blue-green bodies and all black wings. I found this male along the creek flying from perch to perch while I chased along him with my camera.
I believe this is a Green Frog. After researching frogs online it seems to be the best candidate given its size and color patterns. Either way, I came across him while was walking along in a small tributary. When I got close to him, he launched off the bank, spun a 180 degrees in the air and landed next to the creek facing me... it was quite an athletic move.
I was taking a break on a log when I happened to look down and spot a type of cup fungus I wasn't familiar with. I started taking pictures but then a guy and his 2 dogs happened by and his dogs not only jumped up on me (and even licked my camera lense), but they also laid down on the cup fungus to take a break. Oh well, but I found out later after doing some research, they are called Hairy Rubber Cups.
American Eastern Yellow Fly Agarics are part of the large Amanita genus that includes all of the Fly Agarics from around the world. Like all Fly Agarics, they are a large conspicuous mushroom that have distinctive white and yellow pyramid-shaped warts on their caps. This species is yellow, but most people are more familiar with the Red Fly Agaric (A. muscaria) who with its red caps with white spots was featured in the Super Mario Bros. video game.
Golden Fairy Club Fungus is one of many "club" fungi that are very difficult to spot and I only found these because I was kneeling down taking pictures of the Fly Agarics. These tiny little fungi are only a few centimeters tall and are typically found in rich hardwood forests.
Shelf or bracket polypores can exhibit a large variety of colors and surface patterns throughout their life cycle so they can be difficult to identify. But I am pretty sure that this specimen is a Red Banded Polypore, name for the red margin near the edge of the fungus. It like many polypores and other bracket fungi can "winter-over" from year to year, lasting many seasons.