MORE COLOR IN THE WORLD OF NATURE....Here I am having more fun with color in nature. I know that I added some spice by using an orange dust pan for the background in this arrangement or shall I call it "orangement"?! These things I gathered on a recent hike at the Ridgewell Preserve here in Phippsburg. The trail heads off Route 209 along a wetland and climbs rocky hills to a summit affording a view of Seguin Lighthouse. I always seem to find something unusual on this hike, but no moose scat this time though I am quite sure a coyote had excreted on the trail. This time of year there are lots of colorful fungi. In this picture, you will see a red-orange Waxy Cap, a clump of Jelly Clubs, a purple Cortinarius, and a Bolete. Among the insects, there is a beautiful beetle called a Short Winged Blister Beetle, 3 caterpillars - a green one which will become a Sphinx Moth, a white one with black tufts which will becomean American Dagger Moth and a fuzzy brownish-yellow one that I believe is a Salt Marsh Caterpillar (again destined to be a moth). There is a yellow crab spider near the yellow Canada Hawkweed (which was hidden when I picked the flower). Rounding out this grouping is an Oak Ball gall (caused by a wasp), a lichen and an acorn.

Also providing color was this yellow fungus growing in clumps in wet areas. Some look like tuning forks, others just like yellow fingers reaching up from the leaf litter. These irregular fungi are called Earth Tongues! I thought I saw a patch of reddish berries, but they were more of the Waxy Caps - a small red mushroom. I liked the plants growing to provide an offset of green color. See if you can identify the Goldthread, Wintergreen and small White Pine trees.

Somehow I have gotten distracted in recent days by the influx of senior students from Waldorf schools who are here to study the marine environment for a week. We've been doing inventories of the sea creatures, plus drawing and writing about them descriptively and poetically. What has been particularly interesting has been the change in the shoreline during the week with the advent of waves from hurricane Ernesto (or was it Florence?). The sea waters are all connected and though we had no wind or rain, the storm surge made the surf spectacular and dangerous. (So much for studying the water's edge plants and animals!). I took part in a painting exercise where we sat on the edge of the dunes near Head Beach. I was all set up with my paints when a wave came up and wiped me away. I had to seek a seat in the dune grass to mop up and finish my picture. Here you see how high the tide came, leaving no space between the water's edge and the grass. Someday I may show you my painting. I had a large paint brush, so used the points of a rose hip to make details in the waves and water! More on the Waldorfs in the days ahead.
9/15/06 Wet Ronnie