Last Updated 08/13/2014

I am neither a Botanist nor Mycologist. Still there are a lot of things I witness in the wilds that I'd like to share. Initially this link was just a repository for those snapshots I took of the many “micro” aspects of hiking organized in a haphazard way. Over the years the number of photos has greatly increased as I began to appreciate the smaller things in this world more fully. Then I began getting a lot of help identifying many of the unknown flora and fauna I was discovering for the first time. I am very appreciative of the help Ken Clark, Chairman and Outing Coordinator for the Howard County, MD Sierra Club, Sue Muller, Outing leader and Naturalist for the Howard County, MD Dept. of Parks and Recreation and Andy Moser, Fish and Wildlife Biologist of the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have provided. I also owe a great deal of gratitude to Mr. Joseph Lankalis from PA for his expert work identifying the more than 70+ species of fungi posted here. More recently many of my hiking friends have contributed even more to this effort donating some very fantastic close-up shots of the many flora and fauna they discover along the trail.  I try to give them proper credit at every chance.

With the sudden injection of all of this data and knowledge this site has become less of a Photo Gallery and more of a virtual On-Line Field Guide. The site now includes photos for 812 species (includes 445 flowers)! We rearranged the links in a more orderly fashion, similar to what the Audubon Society uses in its field guides, to help you identify those interesting things you find on the trail. Flowers are grouped  by color and then by similarities. Mushrooms are classified by type: Gilled w/veils or skirts, Gilled w/o veils, Gill-less mushrooms such as Boletes, Polypore, Puff Balls, Club, Coral, and finally Jelly, slime molds and cups. All fungi specimens are listed by Latin name first. 

There are also pages for Butterflies, Insects, Snakes, amphibians and reptiles, Mammals and Birds. These later ones are still small but growing at a rapid rate. As the number of specimens increase the categories will be sub-divided. Recently our efforts have been joined by Anita Mueller, an avid "Birder"  and amateur photographer from Connecticut, who is quickly climbing the learning curve of nature photography. Thanks to her and other contributors the site now boasts photos for over 60 avian species subdivided into Song Birds, Water Birds, Black Birds, Game Birds, Woodpeckers/Clingers and Raptors. In several cases photos of both sexes and different plumage morphs are also included.

We hope you enjoy this site! 

M.R.Hyker

                                                                               

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PHOTO SUBMISSION

This site is becoming more and more an interactive, growing data base. Hikers/photographers from the entire 4-state region are sending us photos. If you have a photo of flora and fauna that you would like to post here and we don't have a specimen yet ( OK ...... or maybe yours is  a better shot!) send it to us! Attach a jpg(s) of about 100 Kbytes (640 X 480 pixels) in size and tell us where you found it (park/forest, state and trail) and the time of year you found it. If you know (or think you know) what it is, tell us. If we need to identify it we'll need more information. For flowers the leaves are often as equally important as the blossom. With mushrooms it helps (but is not always necessary) if you can provide a picture of the pore or gill surface as well as one of the cap. It's also helpful to know if the fungi is growing on the ground or wood (dead or alive). Finally, DON'T THROW AWAY THAT HIGH RESOLUTION VERSION!!! We may need that as well. If we do, we'll ask for it. If you provide a name we will give you credit. All contact information is kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone.

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