Friday, June 27, 2014
SkyWatch Friday: Thunderstorms & Toadstools
I've only got a couple of sky photos from this week, so I thought I'd also toss in a couple of photos of some very weird mushroom/toadstool interlopers I found in our front flower bed this morning and see if anyone out there might help me identify them. I've never seen anything like them growing here before, and they seemed to spring up out of nowhere during our overnight thunderstorms (magic mushrooms, maybe?) Anyway, I thought "Thunderstorms and Toadstools" was a much nicer title than "Mushroom Clouds," though I confess that was the first title that popped into my head! :-)
It's been a week of unsettled weather, to say the least, and unusually humid for our usually dry climate. I took this first photo Wednesday evening as the sun was going down behind the mounting storm clouds - I thought the contrast of the dark clouds against the sunlit blue sky was striking. I suppose those three white streaks of varying widths are crepuscular rays, but they didn't look like any sunbeams I'd ever seen before...
After several days of flirting with and skirting our area (but wreaking havoc in neighboring ones, as well as with my sinuses!), last evening the thunderstorms got down to business. We were surrounded by severe thunderstorms that were trouncing those in their path with large hail, high winds, heavy rains, and a lot of lightning, and we were under a severe thunderstorm watch all evening. I'm sure it was thanks to the fact that BW and I ran our Defcon 5 Storm Drill late that afternoon - bringing everything inside that wasn't actually rooted in the soil - that all we ended up getting were some breezes, gentle rain, enough thunder to make our dog Tess nervous, and an amazing lightning show in every direction. Oh, and these very ominous skies...
The little white specks are raindrops, lit up by my camera's flash
Hey, it's Friday. There are skies. You know the drill…
Now about those toadstools. There were about half a dozen of them hiding beneath the foliage of one of our violas and one of our bergamot plants. They were growing at the very base of the plants, in a couple of cases so entwined with the plant stems and roots that it was hard to extricate them without digging up part of the flowers. I was just weeding the flower bed yesterday and swear they weren't there then!
Here are the two largest ones, which measured about 3" tall and a little over 4" wide...
Shown with one of my beloved Merrell Mix Master Glides for scale! :-)
And here is what their stems and gills look like (you can see a stem of the bergamot plant, whose roots were entwined with the toadstool)...
So, anyone know which agaric (gilled mushroom) these might be? I tossed them, of course, but it would be a shame if it turned out they were edible, especially since we're planning to make this for dinner tomorrow! :-)
Have a great weekend, everyone, and Happy Canada Day to our neighbors to the north on Tuesday, eh?
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"