June Hikes

Even though June was a very, very wet month, I was able to get some great shots of fungi, wildflowers, and even a nice 8 point buck.

Hemlock Varnish Conk (Ganoderma tsugae) - 
Hemlock Varnish Conk is one of my favorite shelf fungi.  When in its prime it is predominantly purplish-brown but has hints of yellow and white also.  It is not necessarily widespread in our area either, I've only found one location in the Little Sewickley Creek valley where it grows and visiting that spot has become an annual pilgrimmage for me.

White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) - 
This 8-point buck didn't notice me at first, but as I got closer he spotted me and became pretty wary of my approach.  But I was able to get pretty close and snap a few photographs.

Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) - 
A few years ago I only saw one speciment of Bittersweet Nightshade, but now I am seeing more and more of it around the valley.  Although I'm not sure if it is getting more plentiful or I'm getting better at recognizing it.

False Turkeytail (Stereum ostrea) - 
False Turkeytails are very similar to true Turkeytails, but their undersides are smoother and the fungus has a rubbery feel to it compared to true Turkeytails.

Violet Toothed Polypore (Trichaptum biforme) - 
The light was perfect to capture how bright and beautiful the purple fringes on Violet Toothed Polypores can actually be.  This is definitely one of my favorite photographs to date.

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) - 
Indian Pipe is actually a wildflower and not a fungus, which seems odd since it has no chlorophyll, but either way it is a very pretty little flower.

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) - 
I found this Easter Box Turtle in my mother's backyard.  He had hunkered down underneath a large Norway Spruce tree and I couldn't get a very good photo, so I brought him out into the sunny grass for a few shots.  Of course when I was done, I put him back where I found him.

Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) - 
Orange Hawkweed is considered a weed in landscaping circles but I think it is a beautiful flower full of brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows.  It is also known as the "Devil's Paintbrush."

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) - 
I photographed this Oyster Mushroom after a night of thunderstorms and it actually does look pretty battered from all the heavy rain.  While I wouldn't try eating Oyster Mushrooms, I have read that they are a "choice edible."

More Pictures:

Squaw Corn (Conopholis americana)

White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Hemlock Varnish Conk (Ganoderma tsugae)

Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

Violet Toothed Polypore (Trichaptum biforme)

Scarlet Waxy Cap (Hygrocybe punicea)

White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)