Low Tide, Rainy Day

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This morning dawned  cool and wet. 

Thunderstorms yesterday afternoon  settled into showers overnight, pushed out to sea by the cold front sweeping towards us.


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What a welcome change from the heavy hot air of the past few days!

A beautiful morning to walk down to the creek, I  ventured out with clippers in one hand, camera in the other, to see what could be seen.


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Low grey skies promised more rain at any moment, and droplets of water clung to every leaf and stem along the way.


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Good weather for mosses and ferns, and people who need a break from summer’s heat!


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I was surprised to find the tide so low this morning.

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The area around the dock was muddy, with shallow pools filled with little fish.

The bottom of the creek was clearly visible for a long ways in every direction, showing the roots of plants growing from the mud flats.

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At one time, years ago, this creek was navigable.

Boats could access the dock .  But silt continues to fill the creek.

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The tide must be high to float a boat anywhere near the dock these days.

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I was struck by the still silence this morning.

No eagles called out from the sky.  Aside from dragonflies, no wings filled the air.

It felt as though the whole world were holding its breath waiting for something.


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A moment of peace, while walking to the end of the dock; looking back at the shoreline,  unfamiliar now in its exposed low-tide aspect.

A novelty. 

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Perhaps not to be seen again anytime soon,either.

I studied the muddy bottom to see what might be learned about this bit of shoreline.

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Aside from a broken turtle shell, and the madly flopping fish, no living thing showed itself.

Not a crab or frog, snake or bird to be seen, anywhere, for as far as I could see in any direction.

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And so I began the long climb home, away from the empty creek.

The garden awaited, still soggy but in need of a “walk about.”

And that is another story.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014



Cauliflower Mushroom

Sparassis crispa, or "Cauliflower Mushroom"

Sparassis crispa, or “Cauliflower Mushroom”

Have you ever come across such a beautiful fungus?

This was waiting for us today at the bottom of the garden, just at the edge of the bamboo grove.  There are some stumps and old root systems of hardwood trees in this area.

This beautiful mushroom is native in Eastern North America and in parts of Europe.

It is not only edible, according to the research I’ve done, but it is also highly medicinal.


Bits of hardwood mulch and the droppings from our new bamboo stalks mulch the ground under this mushroom.

Bits of hardwood mulch, leaves  and the droppings from our new bamboo stalks cover  the ground under this mushroom.


This Cauliflower mushroom, Sparassis crispa, or “Brain fungus,” is considered a choice and tasty find.  It has also been used in traditional medicine to fight fungus infections, increase hemoglobin, and fight tumors.

The Japanese call it Hanabiratake and grow it commercially.  It is also farmed in Australia, Korea, and the United States.  This fungus likes to grow at the base of hardwood and conifer trees.

We are intrigued with this beautiful fungus which has sprung up in our garden after the recent rains.  We have no plans to eat it… only to observe it and appreciate its beauty.  It is the first time we’ve seen such a fungus in our forest garden, but hope that it will spread its spores around so that we find it again.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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