September is the month when some interesting mushrooms start appearing in the forest and the leaves start showing signs of wanting to change color. During the month we visited some of the local lakes a few miles from the house. It's always nice to see the calm water and reflections of the landscape.
If there is wildlife around Devon likes to try to catch it. Here he is with a very large American Bullfrog that he caught, and a very large house cat that he caught too!
A small young common snapping turtle showed up on the driveway. That driveway has been a turtle highway all summer! These "common" snappers have become endangered so it was nice to see one. They can be very aggressive and have an extremely powerful bite with sharp cutting edges on their mouths so you don't want to get within biting range even with a small one. This little turtle showed an unusual defensive posture whenever his shell was touched. I was surprised at how sensitive his shell was. Even the lightest touch triggered this standing tall response. This turtle was about 8 inches from one end of the shell to the other and might have weighed a pound. They can grow up to about 2 feet long (shell size) and weigh up to 50 pounds though turtles of that size are very rare. At any rate, this one was just a baby but full of attitude!
The forest floor is becoming colorful with mushrooms and will only become even more colorful when the leaves change. In this section of mushrooms the first is a Yellow Unicorn Entomola mushroom followed by some yellow wax cap mushrooms and some common puffballs, aka gem studded puffball mushrooms. Next are some coral fungi, a yellow amanita, an unidentified little white mushroom and a russula emetica (red cap with white stipe). In the bottom row in this grid are some stump puffball mushrooms and a brilliant orange wax cap.
I was very happy to finally get a few shots of the Eastern Bluebirds perching on our driveway lights.
The wild blue asters, aka "fall asters" bloom at this time of year. They add some great color in shades of blue and lavender to the fields and forests. While out for a hike Devon and I found a little Eastern Newt in its terrestrial red eft stage. The Northern Flicker returned to the garden and the family of wild turkeys is growing up quickly (the smaller chicks can be seen in photos from July).
The photo above shows our front garden at dusk. In a week or so this forest will be in a blaze of color like the sunset sky. It really is an amazing sight when those trees start changing! Photos of those trees will be coming in the October update.