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SW of Calgary
Anne Elliott
Honeysuckle family
Rod Handfield's acreage
SW of Millarville
6 August 2016

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Scabious growing in the wild

Scabious growing in the wild
All three photos posted this morning were taken three days ago, on 6 August 2016, when I went on a mushroom foray at Rod Handfield's acreage. Though this was a fungi day (well, morning), we also came across a few wildflowers, too, including this white Scabious. It was growing by the old, wooden gate at the start of the rough road that leads up to Rod's property, and friend Sandy and I saw it when we were leaving around lunchtime.

I think I have only ever seen Scabious growing wild twice before. Once was way out of the city somewhere quite a few years ago. The other time was when we saw a few purple/mauve ones growing at the edge of the forest on Rod's property in 2010. The field on the other side of Rod's barbed-wire fence was one mass of these purple flowers!

On Saturday 6 August, I found the whole day physically and mentally exhausting, and I'm still feeling the effects three days later. It was a great day, too, thanks to friend, Sandy! She very kindly picked me up around 8:15 am and we drove SW of the city and SW of Millarville to Rod Handfield's acreage. For a number of years, this has been one of my favourite places to explore, as Rod's forest tends to be full of all sorts of beautiful finds. It is one of the two best places that I know for mushrooms, the other being Brown-Lowery Provincial Park. This year has turned out to be great for fungi, thanks to all the endless, torrential rain we have been getting the last few weeks, apart from the scattering of sunny days. This year has so far had such weird weather - a very mild, dry winter, a spring that was as dry and hot as a summer, and now a wet, thundery summer. We were expecting this year to not be good for mushrooms.

We met a group of other interested people, most of whom we didn't know, and we searched the land for fungi. Right at the start, I was telling Sandy that on the last visit there, maybe four years ago (17 August 2010, so six years ago - how time flies!), we had seen a beautiful Amanita muscaria mushroom growing just a few feet from the start of the walk. Sure enough, there were several growing in exactly the same spot on Saturday, which was so exciting. Later in the walk, we saw two other patches of absolute beauties of this poisonous species. The rain was spitting during our walk, and the forest was so dark, but amazingly, some of my photos came out well enough. Thanks so much, Karel, for organizing and leading this trip and for sharing your knowledge with us!

Sandy and I left the group around lunchtime, to go looking at vehicles at one of the dealerships. In the last year and a half, I have had to put far too much money into repairs for my poor old 17+ year old car and finally, I knew that I had no choice but to replace it. The muffler and a few other things died several days ago and instead of spending a fortune on repair, I decided I would rather put that money towards a new vehicle. I had been thinking about replacing it the last few years, but now, enough is enough! Just hoping that my car lasts long enough for the drive to the dealership. The noise it makes is just awful, from the broken muffler and from a dreadful rattling noise, so it will be a most embarrassing ride, lol. I'm down to deciding between two models and it is not an easy choice.

Update re: car. Yay, I finally did it! Yesterday, friend Sandy and I returned to the dealership just after lunchtime. I had to drive my old car there so that they could do an appraisal on it and tell me how much I would get for a trade-in. Before I went, I was feeling more confused and uncertain which car I would decide on. The few that the dealership had were not a colour I would want to drive or else they didn't have the right things installed. I was so relieved when I was told that I could order one to my liking and that the waiting period would be 2-3 weeks. Longer than I would have liked, but bearable (though I know I will be climbing the walls by the time my new car arrives!). The very patient, non-pushy salesman said why not take my old car home and use it just very locally till then. So, thankfully, I still have a (very noisy!) vehicle with which to go and get groceries, which was my main concern. No birding or mushroom trips, though, which will not be easy to bear. Having said that, I need to add that I know I am very fortunate that I am in a position to be able to replace my vehicle - feel very grateful and lucky. Thank you, again, Sandy, for helping me through this highly stressful (to me) ordeal!! It made an enormous difference .... THE difference.

 Pam J
Pam J club
Beautiful !

Admired in ~ I ♥ Nature
3 years ago.

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