Mushrooms, Dragonflies, Sandbar Willow (publ. 2023-09-01)

Here in Fairbanks, it has been been wet, overcast weather for the most part this last week or two. Mushrooms have been popping up all over the yard:

mushrooms photo A

mushrooms photo B

mushrooms photo C

I'm glad to see that, since the yard has some pretty thick thatch build-up, and the landlord doesn't seem to be planning to aerate or anything. Maybe the mushrooms will help decompose some of that.

We are under a flood warning today, since heavy rains north of here are causing the Tanana to overflow its banks in places.

Here are some photos from a few days ago (Aug 29, a sunnier day). For starters, I happened to catch a decent (indecent?) photo of bug intimacy:

dragonflies mating

Dragonfly mating is actually rather interesting because they are still able to fly while attached in this way. In fact, I saw them fly away once or twice while I was trying to get the photo, but fortunately they didn't go very far. I read an article on the subject once. It is an amazing marvel of engineering that the bugs are still able to coordinate and fly in this condition. Another example of God's impressive handiwork.

I also got another closeup look at a beautiful butterfly.

butterfly photo A

butterfly photo B

I was interested in this willow. It fits perfectly the description and sketches of Sandbar Willow (Salix interior Rowlee) given in Viereck 2nd ed.

Sandbar Willow photo A

Sandbar Willow photo B

The book calls Sandbar Willow an "occasionally pioneer" because it doesn't compete well with other trees and shrubs, and so you tend to find examples of it spread out here and there along sand and silt bars of rivers in interior Alaska.

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