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Deluxestogie Grow Log 2018

deluxestogie

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Five days ago, I noticed a Monarch butterfly dangling by one leg from a disorganized spider web near the ceiling of my front porch. It was immobile. There was no spider in sight.

Being a kind person, I used my fly swatter to reach up there, and gently free the butterfly from its entanglement, and place it onto a small table at the edge of the porch. An hour later, it was still there, motionless. I forgot about it. After several more hours, I noticed it was gone. I had done a good deed, rescuing an endangered butterfly.

The Monarch mistook my kindness as a proffer, and has adopted me--much like a stray cat that was fed once. Now, each evening, this same butterfly swoops into my porch, banging against the windows and siding, and occasionally the side of my head. He eventually settles down for the night. But he hasn't missed a night since. No migratory urge seems to be driving him (definitely a "him") to warmer climes.

I've nicknamed him Moe. I have two theories on why Moe remains, and both involve a likely spider bite.

Theory 1: The spider venom caused a high--a buzz. Most victims don't live to tell the tale, but Moe keeps coming back, hoping to experience that bliss once more.

Theory 2: The spider venom caused brain damage, or maybe a complete erasure of his sense of direction and destination. Not having much of a brain to begin with, it seems like it wouldn't take much to knock it off the rails. With no pressing urge to migrate, Moe wanders out to eat (flower nectar) all day, each day. Then he returns to the only place he remembers, to get some shut eye.

Monarchs can't fly below about 55°F, and can't even crawl below about 45°F. But they don't freeze to death until it gets down to about 18°F. I think Moe will starve before the temp gets that low.

But for now, Moe is my pet, and evening companion.

Bob
 

Charly

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Mushrooms... I wish I knew them better... You have to be sure of what you pick up or you can have a really bad surprise...

This weekend, we had a walk in the forest to pick up some chestnuts, there were some mushrooms, the ones we found were beautiful but not good at all, so we left them ;) :

cropA.jpg
"Amanita muscaria" (very easy to find in our regions...)
 
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Mushroom Spore Print



This print is from the a 9" diameter mushroom cap. I placed it, gills down, on a sheet of white paper yesterday evening, and covered it with an inverted bowl. This morning, I removed the mushroom, then allowed the paper to fully dry.

Both photos are without flash. They were taken on my kitchen counter, and illuminated by a fluorescent light. The second photo is taken through a large, hand-held magnifying glass.



I'm not particularly experienced at reading spore prints. To my naked eye, the spore pattern was scarcely visible, and I could not determine the color (either white or non-white). The images are more definitive. I can say that the spores are not white. Maybe they're green, or maybe brown.

The cut flesh of the cap appeared to be a pure white, with tan gills.

Conclusion: I can't pinpoint the species. Unless it's a morel mushroom, or comes with a price sticker, I'm not going to eat it.

Bob
 
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...Chlorophyllum molybdites is most definitely the main suspect here.
That particular species doesn't kill you. It just makes you wish you were dead. It's actually the most common cause of mushroom poisoning in the US.

Bob

EDIT: I may save a piece of it to take as a prep for my next colonoscopy, instead of the recommended prep.
 
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Mine is far more mundane--the morel mushroom.


Morchella

They are difficult to find, and often appear only for a brief period (around here, in certain woodlands on the first gorgeous weekend in May). But their shape is so distinctive that you know instantly that it is edible--and delicious. They commonly range in size from 1" to 10" in height.

Bob
 
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I don't know if they grow in your area, but if you like those, keep an eye out for Verpa bohemica, the early morel. It will be in wetter areas than the morel starting a month earlier. Here they grow just at that point where the willows give way to alder and birch.
 
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