Turkeytails, a Cairn, and some Poop Eaters

The woods are pretty bare right now; the leaves are down, the woods have opened back up, and life in general is shutting down in preparation for the upcoming Winter.  But I was still able to take some interesting photographs.

Unknown Mushroom - 
I'm not sure what type of mushroom or fungi this is, but it looks a lot like a colorful cup fungus that is well past its prime and starting to degrade.  Either way, it made for an interesting photograph with the pinkish red of the fungus against the backdrop of the grey Beech bark.

Frozen Backwater -
This backwater is one of my favorite sections of the creek especially during the Spring when it comes alive with tadpoles, salamanders, and other aquatic creatures.  But for now, it is frozen over and will probably be for some time to come if recent days are any indication of the weather we're in store for.

Rock Cairn - 
Some one built this cairn in the middle of the creek back in the Spring and I'm amazed that it's still standing after some of the hard rains we had this past Summer.  I like cairns, they seem like such a natural way to make a marker.

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) - 
This particular section of the creek bank has a lot of small Hemlock seedlings, more than any other area I'm familiar with in the Little Sewickley Creek watershed.  Interestingly, this stretch of creek also has some of the largest Hemlocks around, so I assume that all those seedlings are their progeny which if true means that they come from "good stock."

Creek with Leaves - 
Sections of Little Sewickley Creek, like in this picture, are absolutely choked with leaves right now, but after a few good rains or snow melts they'll be flushed into the Ohio and down river.

Beech Aphid Poop Eater Fungus (Scorias spongiosa)- 
I'm still not seeing as much Poop Eater fungus as I did last year, but now that the leaves are off the Beech trees, I did see quite a bit on Sunday.  One of the more interesting fungi, Poop Eater grown on the basic sugars Beech Blight Aphids produce as their poop.

Turkeytail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor) - 
I saw at least four nice clusters of Turkeytails, so they're doing really good so far this year.  I hope they continue because some of the most colorful Turkeytails I've found have been during the coldest months.

More Pictures:

Underside of Unknown White Conk

Turkeytail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Unknown Mushrooms

Turkeytail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Unknown Mushroom

Turkeytail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Beech Aphid Poop Eater Fungus (Scorias spongiosa)