Does this look like a sad horse to you? Pooooor Charlie! Yes, he is looking sad. And Bill in the background is not looking much happier.
Yikes! Charlie had an unfortunate tangle with a porcupine. This is Charlie's left rear leg, and those quills are on the inside side. Bill got 100 out on his own. But Charlie was getting crankier and crankier with each pluck. We all know how fast a horse can kick if he wants to, and Charlie was threatening to kick! The on-call vet was summoned. He gave Charlie two doses of a tranquilizer and out came all the quills.
While Bill waited for the vet to show up, I put Lilly in her sneakers and we went off into the woods. It had rained the night before and I found these guys right away. A scientist might call them Lycoperdon perlatum, but ordinary people like me know them either as the gem-studded puffball, or (and this one I love) the devil's snuffbox. Eventually the inside of these becomes all powdery. Apparently, the powder is an excellent coagulant. But before it gets to the powdery stage, it is edible.
Then, while chasing Getty who had been very naughty and refused to come when I called her, I made this extraordinary discovery: the netted stinkhorn!!! They smell terrible and have flies buzzing around them. But don't you love the net? In full flower, the net is very large, like a skirt. This one is on its way out so it looks small and sad. The netted stinkhorn is inedible.
There were actually two of them! So, I could not scold Getty for sending me off on an unintended trek because if she hadn't done that, I would not have had this extraordinary sighting!
While investigating mushrooms and chasing my naughty dog, Lilly was very patiently waiting for me, even when I stepped out of sight for a few minutes. Didn't move! What a very good brumby.
Sunday I didn't ride at all. The weather was rainy and I had to make a merry dash to Target. But today, I was back on the trail. I found more puffballs.
I call this part of the trail Quartz Corner because there are many quartz rocks right around here. Big huge chunks of quartz! It is very gratifying, for some reason, to see them. But where's Waldo? I mean, where's Getty? She is lurking up there!
I checked on this guy again. I just think that net is very cool.
In most cases, having all these muhroom pictures would mean I was getting up and down off of Lilly. But today I was just walking with her. The sky was so black when I arrived at Bill's, I thought for sure it might rain. I do not like getting tack wet. So, I was walking her with a rope halter. She is quite a nice walking companion. As for this mushroom, I am not sure. Brandon says it is hard to say what it originally was, but it appears to be a mushroom that has been parasitized by another fungus. Eeeeewwwww, creepy.
Here are some darling little mushrooms that Brandon could not identify by this picture.
I never get tired of seeing these guys!
As we were heading home, I got the idea to just climb on Lilly bareback. So, even though she didn't have a bridle or bit, I knew she'd respond to the halter. I got on by using a rock as a mounting aid. It was fabulous being up these while Lilly lazily strolled along, nibbling ferns. I took this picture to prove I had actually done it. This was my first bareback ride in the woods!
OK, now it is time for a QUIK QUIZ!!!
Are you ready? Put your outdoor thinking caps on!
Name the trees that these leaves are from! Can you do it!!!????
If you've gotten that one mastered, now here is Part II:
Thanks, Brumby, for letting us use your back as a tabletop! Any ideas what these are?
And finally, if you think you are ready for the most challenging, move on to Part III: