While hiking from stand to stand, I had plenty of time to walk around the woods and look for signs of spring. I even remembered to bring my camera along this time and there were plenty of photo ops along the way. We've had enough warm weather and rain the past few days, but the only real signs of green in the woods so far was lots of moss. It was so nice to see this moss growing that I couldn't resist getting right down on the ground to take a photo.
By looking close to the ground, I managed to spot some other interesting signs of spring too. Thanks to a Google search on "orange cup fungus" I found out this one is called Scarlet Cup Fungus (Sarcoscypha dudleyi). Isn't it neat looking? I almost missed spotting this. Although it looks really large in this picture, it was only about the size of my pinkie fingertip. It was attached to a little piece of wood about the size of my index finger.
I was keeping my eyes open for birds, deer and squirrels, but the only moving creature I did see was this one small earthworm.
Another special sighting was this small feather caught on the end of a branch. It was mostly white with dark gray on the top edge and very fluffy. It didn't look at all like a turkey feather, so I'm thinking it might have been from a Cooper's Hawk or some other raptor.
Here's an old treestand Mr. Johnson built many years ago that we don't use anymore. It looked to me like there was a corncob laying on top (arrow's pointing at it). That got me to wondering whether the squirrels or raccoons had been using this as a convenient dining table.
Fortunately there were still a couple steps in the tree that allowed me to climb up for a closer look. Aha! Just as I suspected! Now I'm wondering.....was it raccoons or squirrels dining up here? And if it was squirrels, how did they carry those corncobs up this tree? This "table" was at least 10 feet up in the tree.
Finally, the last stand and ladders were all down and loaded into the sled for transport back to the truck. All this equipment is pretty heavy, so it was quite a workout for Mr. Johnson hiking back to the truck. I dutifully followed along behind to keep an eye on the load, while humming "I'll never be your beast of burden" to myself. (yeah, cuz I'm just helpful that way!)
Here's probably the most unusual sight we saw this afternoon.....the farmer who rents this field was picking last year's corn today! Due to the wet and cold weather last October and November, so many of the farmers around here were unable to get their corn crop harvested and are making up for lost time this spring.