Saturday, June 4, 2016

Woodland Orange

For three days I've been spotting an unusual orange deep into the middle slough woods, but it was early, rainy, and the mosquitos had finally blossomed. On the fourth day I traveled down the Alwin trail looking to take some photos and confirmed what I tried to dismiss -Laetiporous sulphureus.

Not only is this appearance unusually early, it is also in an unlikely location. The log has been down for years, is partially decomposed, covered in moss, and completely surrounded by water. Because I didn't act quickly, the mushroom received a couple of rain soakings, but it was completely bug free -a benefit of its island location?

Our two woodland sloughs have been steadily filling with more and more water, often independent of rainfall. It is an unusual occurrence that we feel may be connected to the partial filling of the gravel pit adjacent to the west side of the property. Rex was concerned that this change would raise the water table, and his concern appears to have been legitimate. In the back slough, nearly every tree has died -there is one old, large ash surviving the inundation. All the shrubs that were green in prior years are grey. The trail that was always accessible along the western edge is now completely submerged and invisible so that a new path will need to be cut much closer to the property line.

We do not want the trees in the middle slough to die off from inundation or fall in a storm because of soggy soil. The increased sunlight will advance an army of buckthorn well positioned on the south slope and already making headway in the middle slough. If it does not begin to drain we are likely to dig a drainage, or rather enhance the drainage that already exists. Any action of this magnitude will have consequences, but we cannot consider our woodlands as anything but altered or unalterable -it is a place completely transformed.


  1. Interesting. Chickens have appeared really early in NYC, too.

    1. It's a strange year for creatures too. No mosquitoes until June? Lightening bugs in May?


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