Aspen Oyster Mushroom – Also Quotes and Quips

The Aspen Oyster Mushrooms in the following photos were growing on our dying/dead aspen trees. Some of the mushrooms were growing near the ground and some many feet up the trunk. The clumps were ‘many inches’ wide and each would have been enough for several meals if I had been so inclined. Which I wasn’t.

All mushrooms are edible. Some only once.

Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.
– Shirley Conran –

Never crowd a pan with too many mushrooms. They give off an enormous amount of moisture. And there’s nothing worse than a braised mushroom, other than a lot of braised mushrooms.
– Simon Schama –

Kids are now eating things like edamame and sushi. I didn’t know what shiitake mushrooms were when I was 10 – most kids today do.
– Emeril Lagasse –

Mushrooms… are the closest you can get to eating dirt.
– Tom Colicchio –

…but I also can’t prove that mushrooms could not be intergalactic spaceships spying on us.
– Daniel Dennett –

Advice is like mushrooms. The wrong kind can prove fatal.
– Charles E. McKenzie –

Marriage is like mushrooms: we notice too late if they are good or bad.
– Woody Allen –

Not being ambitious of martyrdom, even in the cause of gastronomical enterprise, especially if the instrument is to be a contemptible, rank-smelling fungus, I never eat or cook mushrooms.
– Mary Virginia Terhune –

Mushroom ‘Groaners’:
Help me – I’m in truffle.
Questionable morels.
Please scoot over – there’s not mushroom.
Why did the mushroom go to the party? Becaue he’s a fungi!
-Louis Tomlinson –

In all institutions from which the cold wind of open criticism is excluded, an innocent corruption begins to grow like a mushroom – for example, in senates and learned societies
– Friedrich Nietzsche –

A mighty porterhouse steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the griddle; dusted with fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter of the most impeachable freshness and genuineness; the precious juices of the meat trickling out and joining the gravy, archipelagoed with mushrooms; a township or two of tender, yellowish fat gracing an out-lying district of this ample county of beefsteak; the long white bone which divides the sirloin from the tenderloin still in its place.
– Mark Twain –

… we have spotted a roadside sign: ‘CHAINSAW CARVED MUSHROOMS’. Troubles promptly forgotten, Stuart falls to gawping at the road ahead. What could it all be about? ‘As one victim to another,’ his body language seems to marvel, ‘What’s a mushroom done to deserve that kind of abuse?’
– Alexander Masters –

Plant Profile
Common Name: Aspen Oyster Mushroom
Scientific Name: Pleurotus populinus
Growth: Saprobic (lives on decomposing dead or decaying organic material which it uses as food); grows in shelf-like clusters on dead and living wood of Populus species, primarily quaking aspen.
Location: Prairie/foothills region north of Calgary Alberta

I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t like eggplant parmesan. Isn’t that awful? I’m also sick of portobello mushrooms. People are like,” A vegetarian’s coming to dinner,” so they serve those.
– Candy Crowley –

The TSA must think we’re mushrooms. You know, the way they are trying to keep us in the dark, and the way they keep feeding us a fertilizing agent that comes from the south end of a north-bound cow.
– Douglas Wilson –

Compared to a novel, a film is like an economy pizza where there are no olives, no ham, no anchovies, no mushrooms, and all you’ve got is the dough.
– Louis de Bernieres –

White Lily

Lilium ‘Regale’ (Trumpet Lily)

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Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
– John Ruskin –

Lily Stigma and Anther

Botany plants lately?

Stripes on outside of petals

Alexa, water the plants.

Gardening – It comes in handy when you need to hide the bodies.

If a plant is sad, do other plants photo-sympathize with it?

Picture Perfect Flowers – Anticipation

Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.
– A. A. Milne –

In a month or two, my flower beds should look like this…

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.
– W. E. Johns –

Before that, though, there will be lots of non-gardening weather…

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
– John Ruskin –

which gives me sufficient time to put the photo through my filter factory.

A Digital Marble
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A Spanish magician prepares the audience for his final trick…
He yells “UNO!”
The crowd falls silent in anticipation.
“DOS!”
Everyone’s eyes are wide, laser focused on the performer.
Then, the magician vanishes… without a tres.
– Author Unknown –

What are you looking forward to in the next few months?

Perspective – Grass Islands and Paths

The grassy paths from here to there.

‘Out Back’ is a fenced in area where the deer and the moose are NOT allowed to wander. For many years it was mostly grass because it was where our septic field was until the field got flooded with abundant rain. We moved the field to higher ground – which gave us more landscaping freedom. I started by letting the grass grow taller in some areas, creating wide, sweeping grass paths. The grandchildren loved racing along them and playing hide and seek.

A few years ago I started letting more and more grass grow taller, creating a series of grass islands. I started planting perennials, bushes and trees in the islands. This is what it looked like last fall, from the perspective of someone just over 5 ft tall…

Enter The Car Guy, who had bought himself a Drone and was looking for photo projects. At this Drone height, you get a better idea of what my project looks like.

Higher still, and another perspective. You can see the industrial warehouses that are starting to ‘creep’ out our way.

Way, way up – a clear view of nine of the ten grass islands. Over the next few years we can mow less pathways, add more shrubs and trees and let the islands get bigger.

Hopefully everything will have matured by the time the farm behind us is developed into an industrial park!

The aspen and spruce wooded area at the top of the photo is not fenced. It forms a small part of a large wooded habitat that is home to deer, moose, fox, coyotes and many other mammals and birds.

I can hardly wait until spring time – so many outdoor gardening plans – and not a single one of them depends on the stage we are at with this pesky virus!

Fall Colours – Cotoneaster

Two more plants that grow prolifically in our woods are the Cotoneaster (it is such a temptation to call it a ‘Cotton Easter’ bush…) and the wild raspberry. Both arrived in our woods from bird droppings.

Red Cotoneaster leaves, green wild raspberry leaves
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Plant Profile
Common Name: Cotoneasters (pronounced ‘co_TONY-aster’)
Scientific Name: Cotoneaster; family Rosaceae
Growth: Full sun to partial shade; very adaptable to both dry and moist locations; hardy to zone 2A
Blooms: Clusters of shell pink flowers along the branches in mid spring

Fall Colours – Dogwood

Red Twig Dogwood
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Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
-Albert Camus –

Plant Profile
Common Name: Red Osier or Red Twig Dogwood
Scientific Name: Cornus spp.

Dogwood, which can be native to Alberta parkland forest understories, is a relatively easy bush to grow. It has interesting flowers in the spring, nice berries in the summer, great fall colour, and beautiful bright stems for winter colour.

We have several on our property. They arrived via bird droppings. I think that is quite amazing, actually. Who knows how far away the bird was when it ate some seeds (berries) from a dogwood. The seeds had to have been at just the right stage of ripeness. Then the bird flew some distance and pooped on a piece of ground that was a receptive host. The dogwood seed had to germinate, put down roots, and out muscle the plants around it in order to survive.

This year the dogwood got big enough for me to see it. It is about 3 feet (1 meter) high. It is not too far from a path I walk regularly – not hard to miss when the leaves turned bright red.

In contrast, there is a red-berried elder on our property that grew to be four times that size before I finally discovered it. It was delivered by bird poop too, but not in a location that it can easily be seen.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
-Author Unknown –

Fall Colours – Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper
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Plant Profile
Common Name: Virginia Creeper
Scientific Name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia

This vine is a prolific deciduous climber, reaching heights of 20–30 m (70–100 ft) in the wild. It climbs smooth surfaces using small forked tendrils tipped with tiny strongly adhesive pads 5 mm (3⁄16 in) in size.

We have Virginia Creeper growing, under strict supervision, in two locations. The one in the photo is in a large planter box. It has been growing there for 20 years or so. I shear it back a few times each year so that it doesn’t take off across the patio and out onto the driveway. If left to do what it does best, it would engulf a small car in just one growing season.

The other location is next to a quonset steel building where it (and six of its siblings) are supposed to climb up the side of the building. To date, the strong adhesive pads are not having much luck climbing the shiny metal. Maybe next year.

Fall at my Alberta Home – Aspen

Trembling Aspen Leaves
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Plant Profile
Common Name: Trembling (Quaking) Aspen
Scientific Name: Populus tremuloides

Trembling (aka Quaking) Aspen is the most widely distributed tree in North America, and is known for the distinctive rustling sound its leaves make in the breeze. It is also the preferred wood for that most Canadian of animals – the beaver. These industrious creatures use it as a food source and as the main structural wood in their dams and houses.

Trembling Aspen reproduces by root propagation. This creates clones of the original tree, which can produce pure stands covering a large area. The clones are considered as one individual so these colonies are some of the largest and oldest living organisms on the planet.
– Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement –

We have a four or five stands of these trees on our property. Each stand has dozens and dozens of trees of various ages. This was an exceptionally good growing year for them because we did not have many aspen leaf roller caterpillars. Instead, there are dark spots on the leaves – perhaps a fungus of some kind. Aspen are susceptible to many insects and diseases, which is why mother nature gave them the ability to grow up fast to compensate for the fact they die relatively young.

Trembling Aspen – fighting for domination with the spruce trees
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Trembling Aspen stand – no spruce trees to compete against
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Attitude Adjustment Time – Not Weeds – Wildflowers!

In Arizona, we live in a community that encourages low water use desert plantings. This means gravel yards instead of grass. Landscaping is done with cactus, succulents and plants that don’t use much water. Residents are also expected to keep weeds under control.

This past spring, the vacant house and lot next door to us quickly become overgrown with a carpet of weeds. Most of these weeds had tiny flowers, so the overall effect was greenly messy. As the Arizona sun got high and hot, the weeds started to die, and the yard started to look brownly messy.

I was less than impressed with living next door to a weed seed factory… but my attitude changed when I photographed the plants with my macro lens! Suddenly they were wild flowers!

Crypthantha (If you hover over each photo, you can read the caption. Click on the photo to see the full size version.)

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
– Doug Larson –

Common Fiddleneck

Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.
– Dave Barry –

Erodium

Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.
– Author Unknown –

One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower.
– Susan Wittig Albert –

Phacelia

So many weeds, so little Thyme.
– Author Unknown –

California Poppy – there was only one of these plants in the weed patch, but the bright yellow flowers really stood out!

It’s a wildflower if you want it and a weed if you don’t.
– Author Unknown –

Lupin – these are quite common roadside flowers in the spring, but they were few and far between in the weed patch.

Same Flowers, Other Filters


How is your ‘Garden of Weedin’ doing this summer?

Run Over by a Truck – Goodbye Cactus

Incident Report:
Date: March 2, 2020
Location: Our property on an Arizona Street (a cul-de-sac)
Nature of Incident: Hit and Run
Details: Truck pulling a trailer misjudged their turning radius. Golden Barrel Cactus was unable to get out of the way.
Medical Analysis: Bifurcation of cactus with distal crushing on road side
Patient Prognosis: Certain Death

 

 

I wonder if the cactus fought back and gave the truck a flat tire…