Jean has been working on the bird blind out back.  Come check it out!

The bird blind, constructed back in 2008, has been quite popular. I knew programming staff would use it, and I was delighted to find visitors coming out, even in quite cold weather, to watch the birds. What I was worried about during construction was how much ongoing maintenance it would take. Other than frequently running out of bird seed, it has been surprising trouble free.

We did run into a problem this year. I had secured the cable to hold the feeders around three bog box elder trees. The dead one finally toppled over earlier this summer, taking the cable and the feeders down with it. A few volunteers came out to help me reset a window box, remove the dead tree, and find a new tree to hang the line on. The bird blind is in great shape for fall and winter bird viewing. The most exciting thing about the project was the jellies.

Boxelder Jelly

Little White Jelly

The small amount of rain we’ve finally had has not penetrated more than a few inches into the ground, and has done nothing to help the crops, recharge the waterways, remove the burn ban, or soften the drought. It has, however, provided enough sustenance for the jellies to fruit. We found three different kinds on the dead boxelder. Jellies are awesome. They look all squishy and slimy and they feel like…jelly. And they are usually edible, but not being a mycologist, I did not experiment.

 

Orange Jelly

And, not being a mycologist, I can’t identify them with 100 percent accuracy. But I think the translucent white one is Exidia alba, the brown slimy one is Tremella foliacea, and the little yellow one is Tremella messenterica. Click on the images to see them close up!

White Jelly

Slimy Jelly

 

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