Not all who wander are lost...

I started down by the creek on Sunday, then headed up into the hills near Sewickley Height Golf Club until I eventually worked my way back down to the creek near the backwater I've written about before.  Even though I tend to get more wildflower photos down by the creek, I do see a lot of interesting mushrooms on the hilltops in the forest.  And sometimes it's just enjoyable to wander around...

Golden Waxy Cap (Hygrophorus flavescens) -
Golden Waxy Cap is a new mushroom to me and I am 95% certain of my identification.  Even though it was slightly overcast that day, the yellow and orange of the mushroom seemed to glow.

Pennsylvania Smartweed (Polygonum pennsylvanica ) -
Even though Pennsylvania Smartweed has bright pink and white blossoms, they are easy to miss among the grasses that line the trail.  It's also one of the flowers that last for months, so they'll be around for a while longer.

Heal All (Prunella vulgaris) -
Heal All is aptly named since it's been used by many cultures over the millenia for medicinal purposes and I've even read that the Iroquois made a drink from the dried flowers and leaves to reduce fevers.

Hairy Rubber Cup Fungus (Galiella rufa) -
Hairy Rubber Cup fungus is easy to miss since it is a low lying fungus whose brown color blends into the forest floor.  As a matter of fact, the only reason I found these cups is because I sat down to take a break and then noticed them growing by my hiking boots.  Hairy Rubber Cups look like they are made from round discs of leather to me.

Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis) Non-Native - 
Even though Asiatic Dayflowers are not native to our area, they are very beautiful and interesting in that each plant only blossoms for one day a year.  I've always wondered why the species developed that adaptation, since most changes a species develops are to help in survival, that adaptation seems counter-intuitive.

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Non-Native - 
Also known as Creeping Thistle, Canada Thistle produces a pinkish purple blossom on top of long skinny branches.  Canada Thistles is not native to our area and is considered invasive in many states.

Common Milkweed Flower Buds (Asclepias syriaca) -
This Milkweed plant, which I found down near the stream on the floodplain, is getting ready to start flowering.  Milkweed is a favorite for butterflies and the other pollinators and I even saw a few butterflies fluttering about waiting for the blossoms to open.

Star Chickweed (Stellaria pubera) -
I found this specimen of Star Chickweed among a large concentration of Small Flower Forget-Me-Nots.  Star Chickweed must prefer similar, watery habitats to Forget-Me-Nots since both were within a foot or so of the stream.


Small Flower Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis laxa) -
Small Flower Forget-Me-Nots are in full bloom right now and will be around for a few more months.  I recently read that Henry David Thoreau referred to this plant as "Mouse Ear Forget-Me-Nots," which is interesting because the flowers are tiny... about the size of a mouse's ear.

More Pictures:

Hairy Rubber Cup Fungus (Galiella rufa)

Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) Non-Native

Heal All (Prunella vulgaris)