Rex said it had been dry for the last month after the record wet of spring and early summer. There wasn't much in the way of mushrooms, but at least there were no mosquitoes to hasten our search. I had great hopes of finding something to eat, but mostly there was disappointment. A few notable wood rotters:
There were spent chickens everywhere. Guess we were just a couple of weeks too late.
In just two days we will be heading to Minnesota via metal bird. I'm excited, I've never been there in the Autumn. It's my father-in-law's 80th birthday, so we'll be cooking up a storm for the party. But we will also hit the mosquito-less woods (yes!) for edible mushrooms -corals, chickens, hens, oysters. I also plan on getting back to the Minneapolis Farmers' Market to check out their offerings, with an eye for garlic. What are they growing and what's it go for?
Speaking of garlic, I am linking up with a couple of Hudson Valley gardeners who have space to share with my garlic overflow. What'd I promptly do -yep, bought more seed from a supplier with beautiful stock. So now to make a couple of trips to the sites; first to prepare the beds, then to plant. Must keep my eyes on the upstate weather now as I take my distance gardening extreme. Ha -I'll also be bringing some garlic to Minnesota. My father-in-law loves garlic, so what better to give an 80 year old man that has everything.
The basil has gone through an incredible growth spurt, when normally at this time it is decline. Must've been all of August's rain, leaving my to speculate that it hadn't been getting enough water from the spray system. Above it you can see the yellowing leaves of parsley that should be stout and green. It's because someone came by, yanked on it, pulled it from the ground, and left it to die. Sadly, I also found a smashed, large, brilliant yellow, striped German on the ground between the tomato rows.
The broccoli grows well, untented.
The haul. Several pounds of paste tomatoes, a few striped German, a brandywine, and a couple of black Russians. Carrots too, and the last of the greenbeans.
Please enjoy my photos of a river trip that is not well known, not much taken -the Carmans. Many kayaks can be seen putting in to explore the Carmans tidal estuary, but the upper river on a perfect, breezy, summer day -my brother and I were its only travelers.
We parked one vehicle at lower lake in Yaphank, NY. Yes, that's YAP-ANK. It was a critical choice because the kayak rental opened at 9:30, about 40 minutes away in Northport, and we had to have the yaks back by 5 pm. They used to have their store on the Carmans river, right where we left one of our vehicles, but as they told it, they were dismissed by the town of Brookhaven (kayak rentals is a concessions business) several years ago. They don't know why. Neither do I, but I have a couple of theories. I just won't get into those here because I am not going to be wordy -right?
The old homestead at our put-in. On another trip, someday, we'd like to try farther upriver.
Here we launched. The river had good flow, quite a bit actually for a Long Island watertable river. My suggestion should you ever do the trip is to go within a week or two of a big rain. We had just had a month of serious rain and it gave us the water we needed, and a shame we didn't have the time to travel farther up river.
The flow is visible in this image.
Along the way, many floating docks.
Waterside alternates between dense thicket and woodland.
Many of the trees had small, pale leaves, and several were shifting for autumn.
My least favorite part of the trip is the large lake, dammed at its southern end, in Southaven County Park. Kayaking its expanse is a bore. When I was a kid we used to come to this park to bbq under the pines. I still associate the smell of dry, reddened pine needle litter with hot weather. Sometimes we rented a rowboat. Out on the lake we we terrified of the waterfall at the dam -it seemed a vortex that we would be sucked into, never to be seen again. On this trip, we simply took out to the side of the falls, putting in just below. Doesn't seem so big anymore. It was at the falls that I found the puffballs.
Just after the falls you pass under a highway. At times on the Carmans there is simply too much road noise, other times, not much at all. Several major structures cross the Carmans path -the Sunrise Highway, the Long Island Expressway, the Long Island Railroad, and LIPA powerlines.
We had a few extra minutes to travel south into the tidal estuary.
The leaves of oaks were the color of old Hudson River School paintings, and I begun to think of Long Island's own William Sydney Mount.
Beyond, the waters more choppy, the salt hay bending, thanks to afternoon's ocean wind.
In a future post, I'll describe some of the wildlife and plants of the Carmans.