Sunday, August 22, 2010

Colorado Mushrooms

Who knew that there would be so many mushrooms along the hiking trails in Rocky Mountian National Park near the YMCA of the Rockies where we stay. I need help identifying them. These are just some of the photos.

Hairy grama

hairy grama (Bouteloua hirsuta)
hairy grama (Bouteloua hirsuta)While in Colorado, I was able to do a lot of hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The wildflowers and grasses and even mushrooms were all in abundance due to the amount of moisture the area has received this year. Perhaps the most delightful sight for me was this field of Hairy grama that is shown above. It is an interesting native Rocky Mountain grass and one that is not readily established in the Midwest, although we have a similar grass here: side oats grama. I was lucky to see Hairy grama (Bouteloua hirsuta) blooming in its natural setting and even see the tiny seeds.

Black-and-yellow Argiope

Black-and-yellow Argiope
Having just returned to Habitat Home from a long vacation in the Colorado Rockies, we found this spider waiting (for us?). It has established its web in amongst the flowers along the front entryway sidewalk where it is sunny but not too windy. We stood and watched for awhile as many innocent flying butterflies and insects fluttered by barely missing being trapped and eaten. These spiders will eat just about anything smaller than themselves. Spiders taste with organs on their feet. The end segment of the leg has several holes containing taste and smell organs. This spider is common in most of the United States but it is not common in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.