While hiking in the cool dewy morning, I saw a hawk being mobbed by a group (a murder) of raucous crows! The attackers' harsh cries could be heard from a distance so I headed in their direction. Twice as I walked toward them the noise stopped for about ten seconds, only to begin again just as loud and persistent. Why do they do this? How do they all know to stop at the same time? I don't know if my approach encouraged the hawk to get the heck out of there, but when I got close there was a sudden whoosh - whoosh - whoosh of large wings and the flash of a red tail as the hawk flew off, escorted by about eight squawking crows. One they were gone silence fell over the woods. I walked slowly on looking for rocks and feathers, and noticed that within five minutes the other little birds in the trees started singing again.
There were two piles of fresh fox scat full of persimmon seeds in the cut that runs between the three pipelines. I use it all the time to gain access to the woods and rocky ridge above Lawson's Fork. It must be a fox cut-through, too.
Later this afternoon I sat down to draw the strange, brown and scaly fungi above. They've been growing all fall in our yard, until my son picked them and brought them to me last week. I'd love to know a name. I couldn't find it in any of my field guides. I did find a photo of one in a blog and was excited until I saw that the writer called it "Fungus anonymous." Oh, well! If anyone knows a name, please let me know!