Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bitter Bolete (watercolour 5 x 6 in.) Sold


11 September finds us 1 km south of Thorne, Ontario, just across the Ottawa River from the mill at Temiskaming. Fred, warming up with his bowl of macaroni lunch in bed in the trailer, says "One of the nice things about the nomadic lifestyle is that you have so many favorite places 'in the whole world.'" This has been a favourite place since 6 September 2001 when he was fortunate to find this place in the dark - a roadside fishing spot along Highway 63. 

The river is 20 cm higher than it was when we arrived last night, held back by the Otto Holden dam downstream, just upstream of Mattawa, so Fred found no clam shells this morning, but there were small Orconectes propinquus crawling on the bottom and on the submerged boulders near shore. 

He went out to look for Salamanders, and brought back a Boletus mushroom which he'd found under a White Pine, near Red Maple
and Red Oak. It keyed out as the Bitter Bolete, Tylopylus felleus, and he said that its flesh was indeed bitter like the book said, and pink inside where he broke its edge. Another helpful characteristic was the hollow area underneath, around the top of the stipe (stem). The stipe was affected by slugs in two episodes: one healed over and the other fresh nibbles with traces of dried slime. This was the only intact mushroom found - the others were a few decaying Suillus.

Marigold the Dog is spooked by the Red Oak acorns rattling down on van roof & through the woods all morning. She doesn't stray far from the door of the trailer.

I painted the river at sunset in September, 2009. Last night the mill was lit up like a fairground, with billowing plumes floating into the night from tall stacks, and below this glittering spectre, blurry beams of yellow and white light come halfway across the river. Some night I'm going to paint that scene.


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