Sunday, June 17, 2012

more fungi. winged insects. more berries.

6.15.12  at  5:50 am

so many mushrooms...

such a variety of colors, shapes, sizes...

popping up all over the the edge of the woods.

"You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut."  
~Dr. Seuss

pumpkin pie anyone?

this one reminds me of a sea urchin.

this looks like it's covered with tiny stones.



yesterday,  we went blackberry collecting again...
in the field...where the blackberries are growing wild all over the place.

it was so sunny...i couldn't see the butterflies on the camera's screen...
i was relieved when i uploaded them to the computer, and saw that they came out fine!
a Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary & a little yellow butterfly...maybe a Whirlabout

along one of the trails, i spotted this BRIGHT iridescent green beetle.
it was pushing something along...rolling it. 
but it got scared when it realized i was there...and started to run.
it looked like animal POOP...that it was rolling along.
a female dung beetle
when i got home, i looked it up...
it's what i thought...
also known as a 'tumblebug'.
did you know they ONLY eat animal feces?!
after rolling & burying their dung balls, the females lay their eggs in them.
(when i hear the words Dung Balls in my head...i can't stop humming the  AC/DC song...
know which one i'm talking about?)
they're very beneficial to our environment,
as they eat what other animals leave behind.
they are useful recyclers!

Dung beetles can be found on every continent except Antartica!

the males have this horn on top of their heads!
they look pretty prehistoric...have a look...i think you'll agree.

and one more tidbit of information on these amazing insects:
there is a species of African Dung beetle that navigates 
by the polarization patterns of the moonlight.

ok...i have decided that these beetles are at the top of my list for LIKES of bugs.
they're good for the environment.
they look cool.
they have a fondness for poop.
(i need to clarify, i don't eat poop. never have. but i DO take pictures of scat.)
and they have a connection to the moon.

back to the berries.
i got a little sidetracked.  i think these dung beetles are the coolest!

after collecting about 8 cups of blackberries...we headed home.
the yellow lantana had a few butterflies feeding.

a Gulf Fritillary

a Long-tailed skipper

some type of banded skipper.  this butterfly was tiny. under and inch.

SO with EIGHT cups of FRESH blackberries...
i found myself in the kitchen...again.
TWO cobblers. one for us and one for sam's mom.

no, i haven't learned to enjoy baking...i'd rather be doing just about anything else.
but these cobblers ARE SO EASY...mouth watering-ly good...
especially warmed up with ice cream on top!  yum.


this is long enough.
i hope you made it to the end.
because milo has a gift.
she brought it to the back screen door.
well...cats do what cats gotta do.
poor lizard.

i asked her to please let it go.  she did.  good kitty.  and the lizard scurried away. whew.

"Prowling his own quiet backyard or asleep by the fire, 
he is still only a whisker away from the wilds."
~Jean Burden

stay cool & be safe.


  1. That is the wartiest mushroom I have ever seen. Your photo of Milo reminds me of our old Rocky...our front porch was always littered in season with bodies and remains. Once he brought in a chipmunk he had killed and once a wood dove still flapping and trying to get free.

    1. one time milo brought a squirrel was really pretty funny to watch her dragging it betweeen her legs as she was almost as big as she...oh the gifts our cats give us!

  2. Those are quite some mushrooms! I was just watching two Variegated Fritillaries in my flower gardens--thanks to your photos I now know what their names are. :)

  3. wow! the lizard was still alive! good, milo!

    i love all your fungi. jealous of your rains/moisture. but your butterfly pics are so vivid in color today!

    1. thanks theresa! we've had an ususual amount of rain lately...and as you know...that's a good thing and very welcome! besides i LOVE the rain/

      unfortunately, not everything milo brings alive. :(

  4. Beautiful butterflies and you can't beat the mushrooms, they are superb, and, I'll give the cat its due, he did do what all good cats should do, let the lizard go.

    1. thanks Bob...yeah...milo actually listens like a dog...
      well, a dog that listens! :)

  5. Hi Laura, I wanted to thank you for the email replies and the blogger help. I enjoyed this post on the different mushrooms. They are cool looking and colorful. The butterflies are beautiful and the cobbler looks yummy. Happy to see the little lizzie survived Milo. Have a great week ahead.

    1. sure...glad to help eileen...and i'm happy it's all worked out!! what a pain!

      yes, i was happy to see the little lizard escape!! it doesn't always work that way! :(

  6. mmmm, those cobblers look so delicious

    better than the other options on the menu in this post
    dung or lizard

    but I do love that green scarab
    surely one of the prettier dung beetles


    1. haha...yeah, i can't blame you for the pass on the dung & lizard.
      i'd rather sink my teeth into a cobbler any day!

      thanks kel!

  7. You just find the BEST fungus! Love your butterfly shots!

    1. thanks michelle...i think it's pretty weird the variety of fungus we have here...i'm not complaining...they're all so unique!

  8. What a wonderful excursion! I love the cobbler of course, but I am impressed by those Dung Beetles...I've seen the bright green one but never knew what she was! I could sure use a bunch of them to pick up after Moon and Copper!!!...:)JP

    1. haha....good idea! you could collect a bunch of these little guys and they could help clean up your yard!

  9. Really enjoyed my visit Laura! I LOVE your mushrooms -- great variety you have -- and the plants and butterflies; I had a wonderful time. My only complaint -- and I really hate to whine -- is that you didn't slice me a piece of that cobbler while I was here.

    1. ha! good time i make a cobbler...i'll leave slices out for the taking!
      thanks for stopping by!

  10. All those mushrooms are so strange looking! Like I'm seeing something from another planet! Cool! Love those orange butterflies.
    When I saw the picture of Milo and the captive anole I figured it wasn't dead because it wasn't injured-black--hehe! I'm so glad she listened and let it go. Cats just wanna have fun (can you hear Cindy Lauper?). ;)

    1. i think that would be a good video to make...a cat singing the cindy lauper song...but the NEW kitty version,,,and showing all the FUN things cats like to do!!

  11. Hi Laura, just when I think I've seen all your fungi varieties... up you pop with many more strange and weird ones! Such a brilliant collection of them. Beautiful butterflies too. Love your photos. Enjoy your pies - they look delicious... especially when they're from berries you've gathered yourself.
    Milo is a very good kitty releasing the lizard :D)

    1. thanks susan...yes, good kitty...this was one lucky lizard!

  12. I think Milo wanted you to make some lizard cobbler pie for him:) Party pooper!! And speaking of poop.....aren't those beetles cool??!! Unfortuneatly I worked with some grown people who thought it was also fun to roll poo up. When grown people do it, it's called a mental illness. When animals do it, it's called nature. When kids do it, it's called exploring. Tomato tomawto:)

    Now putting poo and cobblers together is just wrong. Blackberries are amazing and that cobbler has me hungry right now. Do you know that anytime I went hunting for blackberries in my youth, I found A. ladybugs(that's okay) B. Gardener snakes(probably for the rodents who liked the berries) or C. Bear!!! We had to be careful around these areas. The snakes freaked me out the most.

  13. Oh and your fungi/'shrooms are cool!!! I've always wanted to learn how to pick the good ones for eating. They had classes in WI for this....but I never went. Someday down the road if I'm back there I'd like to check it out. Awesome orange butterfly shot as well by the way!! I'm surprised you don't have Smurfs living around there.....

    1.'re hysterical!! and you're right...i really shouldn't mix POOP and cobblers together...
      when we go picking berries, we have to watch for far, we haven't seen any...but i'm sure they're there...waiting under the bushes for little prey...

      it amazes me...ALL the kinds of mushrooms we have here on our the the edge of the woods...
      i KNOW that some are probably edible...but even if i took an ID class...or had a good book...i don't know if i'd trust myself.

      when i see the perfect little dome type mushrooms...i think of the smurfs. one day i'll have to pick up a little smurf and pose him/her under some of the mushrooms...take care!! :)

  14. Your photos always make me do this: :). Love that quote about the cat at the end.
    Milo had quite a prize. good thing the little guy was able to run away when released.

    1. thanks...melissa...cats always seem to find the coolest litttle gifts, don't they? it's nice when they haven't played them to death. :(

  15. Your moon pics are always a highlight - this is a beauty! do all of these fungi actually grow near you? fantastic... AND lovely butterflies AND fascinating details about sung beetles... AND Milo's offering (be grateful it wasn't a little bird with its scalp scraped bare being batted and chased around your kitchen, which was Sophie's most recent trick)

    very enjoyable post as always, Laura. Thanks!

    1. YES!! ALL these fungi are in our yard...or on our property at the edge of the woods!!
      oh, i am grateful...that milo's little gift was able to get away...once or twice we didn't see that she had an offering in her mouth when she came to the door...and she brought it into the house!
      poor little battered bird that your sophie got a hold of...cats will surely do...what cats do...

      thanks Alexia...for stopping by! OH...and i knew you meant dung beetles! :)

  16. oops make that dung beetles

  17. oh you know i enjoyed seeing all these wonderful fungi characters, so many awesome shapes, colors and sizes. fun fun fun! that cobbler would be quite tasty with my coffee just about now - ummmm. last year i made a huckleberry pie and was amazed at how delicious it was! shared that with neighbors and they knew what a treasure it was.... picking all those small berries.

    thank you for sharing your wonderful world.

  18. Thanks for this great trip in your nature. Here you have got a lot of beautiful pictures of mushrooms and insects. So exciting to see new plants that grow here with us.
    Wish you all a great summer on.
    Greetings from Hilda

  19. South African children all know about the Dung Beetle. And I love them too. As far as beetles go, they are most worthy to me, all bugs being equal in the greater spectrum of things, of course :)

    The Fungi is great, and I think it is such a marvelous gift that you can pick blackberries to your heart's content. One of these days I plan to have my garden working, and then we'll see if I can get a BB bush to work. I can just imagine the kids grabbing handfulls from the bush. Uhm, or is it a tree?

  20. PS - my cat use to have a tendency to bring things in, so I gave her a bell. And a metal thingy with her name on it (and my number). And then another small bell. No more animals being mauled here. I know she needs to, but I can't and she only does it when I don't give her enough attention. And in a cat's world, there is never any concrete way of knowing if today is a lot or less attention day :)

  21. Wow! Some of those fungi are just amazing.

  22. I never knew that about beetles-well, 'dung' beetles! That IS interesting, and the one with the horn! I think I've seen a few of those, but didn't know what they were. Blah, tho, about rolling dung along and then laying eggs in it...but, nature has it's way of recycling, eh? Ummm, more're stuck now Laura! Great mushroom photos, and, oh, the butterflies! You know, we've had more butterflies this year than we've had in quite a few years. And, we're really enjoying them! I'm know I'm late...still on my quest to catch up! See you again, happy cobbling!

  23. Well, that sure was a lot of adventures for one day! Those mushrooms sure are interesting! I remember when I saw my first dung beetle...I thought it was interesting and a bit gross all at the same time!


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