Shortly up the trail, I spotted something bright yellow on a fallen down tree. "Hmmmm," I thought to myself, "I hope that's what I think it is........" I headed off-trail for a closer look at what turned out to be my first personal discovery of Chicken of the Woods (sulphur shelf) mushrooms. Charlie, another birder with our group, confirmed this ID and on the way back to the car, the mushroom you see on the top left side of this log went home with me for this evening's supper (it was delicious!) I'm thinking I may have to make a stop back here on my way home from work tomorrow to collect the rest for my freezer.
There was a huge abundance of raspberry bushes along most of the trails in this park. I also made a note to myself to return with Mr. Johnson and berry-picking buckets in a few weeks to reap some of that delicious bounty.
We did see a few downy and hairy woodpeckers, but none of the pileated woodpeckers who were responsible for creating the holes in this oak tree.
At the end of the trail, we found this scenic spot overlooking most of the eastern Rochester skyline. In this photo are Mr. Johnson, and our trip leaders, Terry (red shirt) and his wife Joyce (lite blue shirt).
This is a view of Silver Lake.
In the middle of this park is an old quarry. It wasn't a large quarry and probably wasn't used for too long. It's quite overgrown now and we did find some evidence that it's been used in the past for a teen party spot.
Another cool thing we found was this intact skull with some bones and fur nearby. After further investigation of the bones, we decided that this was probably a raccoon. Unfortunately, I didn't have a plastic bag along with me, so this skull stayed where it was (even though I really wanted to bring it home). Maybe tomorrow when I'm fetching those mushrooms.......
False Solomon's Seal
Vetch and Wild Columbine
Another look at the Black Snakeroot (with some flowers blooming)
The flowers were really small - only about a half to three-quarters of an inch across
Here's a busy bumblebee pollinating some raspberries for me!
We were almost back to the parking lot when we spotted this flower. It was one that none of us had ever seen before, but after doing some checking on the internet, I'm reasonably certain that it's a Star-of-Bethlehem. It was a beautiful little plant and I wouldn't mind finding some of these to plant in my own backyard some day.
Haven't seen many butterflies yet this year, but we also saw this pretty little Red Admiral taking advantage of the nectar in this nice dandelion (another reason to save dandelions -- a nectar source for early season butterflies!)