27 October 2009

Eggs and Mushrooms!

I am proud to announce that one of our chickens had her first and second eggs in the last three days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm a little (under-exageration) excited because I didn't even think that they would start to lay eggs before next spring. But lo and behold they proved me wrong not once, but twice!

And then today as I was sitting in my bedroom (which faces the backyard/west) I heard quite a ruckus from the chickens and I thought to myself, "Oh my goodness, what if one of them is freaking out because she is pushing out an egg?!" And then I got stuck looking up a mushroom that I found on my way home. (Which ended up being fruitless to say the least. At least I'm pretty sure its a Tricholoma, pictures to follow.) And then I finally dragged myself out to the yard to find this little treasure.

And for scale: 1.) It fit into my hand, so tiny and small.

2.) The two eggs on the right bottom are the first two eggs we've gotten farthest right is the one from today.

And this is the beautiful mushroom that distracted me from following my instinct and seeing about the egg.

More to come soon!

11 October 2009


Today was a nice, calm, cold autumn day perfect for storing up nuts for winter and bike riding. We really did store up some black walnuts today. Joel and I collected them behind Voodoo Too Donuts two days ago and today we set to processing them. We started the day off by shucking the outside husks, turning our hands black and yellow (this should last for a good 3 days or so!). We shucked about half of the walnuts and a quarter of them we dried them in the oven for a couple hours and the other quarter we laid out in the basement pantry. We'll see which is the better method.

Then Joel and I went to the food church but they ran out of bags so we just got bread and lemons (for lemonade). As we were walking to our bikes I spotted some mushrooms so I picked them all quickly so I could study them and figure out what they were (though my ulterior motive was to find out if they were edible). Alas they were not edible, they were Scleroderma verrucosum which is a kind of pigskin puffball.

Also, over the last week I've had a perplexing mystery in my life regarding chestnuts. I've documented the fruits and the seeds but I'm lacking the leaves which would be the most helpful key to identifying them. So this is my photographic essay of chestnuts this far.

This is the horse chestnut/Ohio buckeye Aesculus hippocastanum, easily identifiable and very common.

This is what I believe is the American Chestnut, Castanea dentata.

And this is mystery chestnut three. I found it when Joel and I were hiking near Hood River. If anyone has any clue I'd be more than happy to know. I didn't see a tree around that these pods seemed to belong to.

I got the American chestnut when Joel and I were test riding bikes in the Laurelhurst area. It was a lot of fun because the bikes we were riding were absolutely wonderful. I was riding the Torker U-District which is a single-speed light and fast bike. Joel was riding this year's model of the Yuba Mundo. Both were major improvements over what we both ride now so both of us felt like we were floating on clouds (even on the uphills!). I've been dreaming about it ever since I handed it back to the bike shop guy. *googly eyes*

10 October 2009

Riding 'Round Mt. Hood

Today Joel and I went on a nice long fall drive around Mt. Hood.

On our way there we drove along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway which was created in the 1920s. A lot of the bridges were styled after churches and cathedrals because the guy who was designing the highway/bridges felt that the forest was a similar sacred space. I really love them. :0)

We stopped along our way to check out this short yet beautifully crafted tunnel for foot/bike traffic.

Check out that man beard!

And of course the obligatory mushroom and seedpod photos.

We also stopped at the USGS Fish Hatchery and Bonneville Dam. They have windows at the bottom of the salmon ladder so you can watch the salmon/shad make their ascent up the river.

Then we drove a bit longer and then on the other side of the mountain we stopped to hike at Dog Creek. We actually didn't take the hiking path but hiked up an overgrown dirt road, and by overgrown I mean it hadn't been used at least ten years.

08 October 2009

Ethnobotany and Mycology

Yesterday I went on an expedition through Forest Park after one of my classes. I was there to document all the plants in a particular area for my ethnobotany class but I mostly took photos of mushrooms, most of which happened to be exceedingly tiny. I haven't a whole lot to say about these photographs/mushroom besides the fact that the massive amounts of clustered mushrooms are inedible and are Yellow Sulphur Tufts. Also, my camera batteries died so some of the photos are unclear because I kept turning on my camera, adjusting the settings and taking the camera as quickly as I could before the camera died again. I can usually trick my camera into getting 4 more shots if I space out the time of each shot and take it as fast as I can.

And other non-mushroomy things caught my eye, particularly this beautiful Ohio buckeye/horse chestnut (inedible) and these pileated woodpeckers.

The other night we had Kelley and Brady over for dinner. I made miso soup and egg rolls (yes, I rolled them and fried them myself) and Kelley brought over Trader Joe's potstickers. It was nice and hot and salty, it was nice to have a group dinner again.

And this was my disastrous mess of a sculpture piece. I instead made a model for this piece and presented that. This piece will one day have life breathed into but for now its on the back burner. My next project is going to be another sleep pod but of a less common type (this piece is based off of the child ideal of the fort/secret hideout) I'll post the model once I have that photographed.