Come walk with me on this early morning where the temp is already at 70F. The sun has finally been brave enough to break through the clouds. The trail is dry in most places but every so often you will have to jump the mud puddles and walk the wet leaves at the side of the trail around the squishy muddy middles. It is easy to see where the deer have dipped their toes in mud as well. The rain has brought out all the tiny mushrooms in the cracks of the dead wood.
This may or may not be coral spot fungus. It is most certainly poisonous but does not look that edible, anyway.
Our original objective was mountain laurel, usually in bloom this time of year. Sadly 80% if the buds/blossoms had been knocked to the ground by the torrential rains.
We spotted a few hardy clumps in the sun near the beaver dams. Mentioning the beavers, I will write that they were having a marvelous time blocking the abundance of water with dams everywhere. I am sure the park officials were frustrated as many of the trails along the marshes had flooded due to the engineering of this flat-tailed water mammal. You could almost hear them clapping their little forehands with glee that there was water deep enough to actually float some large logs!
This chap was pretty ambitious.
The forest floor was also littered with holly blossoms from the rain. It made me wonder what happens to the insects and wildlife that depend on the lengthier blooming of these plants?
We heard the song of the Summer Tanager in the high canopy of the forest. There was once the call of a Mourning Dove, and of course the territorial cry of the woodpeckers. There was also an abundance of Chickadees, Cardinals, and Titmice, which are common in our own woods.
I was looking at the patches of sunshine for native orchids but had no luck.
Deceptive patches of grass were very wet soaks from nearby brooks. Too wet to walk across.
Even the bark of the slash pine was growing green algae in the breaks of the bark!