Pregnant Dogs and Mushrooming

Today started out on a difficult track – with 2 hours of editing and reediting to finally incorporate dogs into the post below. It was tedious, and it made me mad. Finally, I seemingly got it through, and took the dogs out for a bike ride to try to find the closest state game area. There was supposed to be one about 5 miles in a direction that I had not yet explored. I was looking for the wildlife and wanting to explore the outdoors, not really looking to harm the wildlife. After a couple of miles of few hills on the bicycle with the dogs, we did indeed find a beautiful little area (although short of the gamesland) peppered with not quite ripe berries and what looked like grapes, both of which were sampled:

and bordered by a creek, that spin went for a swim in.

I let the dogs out for a couple of hours of off-leash activity while I explored the variety of mushrooms that abounded in the forest.

mushroom 1

mushroom 2

mushroom 3

mushroom 4

mushroom 5

mushroom 6

mushroom 7

mushroom 8

mushrooms 9-12
I’m not sure which among these are edible. I know that some can be pretty toxic and hallucinogenic. I’m pretty sure that mushroom 2 next to the deer poop is not safe. And the mushroom with the ring around the edge probably isn’t either. If I were going to experiment right now (and I’m not for health reasons), I would probably stick with the mushrooms that look like the ones you might see in the grocery store (not the very bright ones), but according to this site, you probably have about a 50/50 chance of getting a poisonous one if you just randomly sample.

The mosquitos, bees and the catepillars were also out.

After this activity, I again noticed the couple with a pregnant pitbull-aussie cross that I had passed hitchhiking to Chicago along the way to the park. I offered them the spare bed that was in my room, but they already had a room. So later the guy borrowed my bike to go get some supplies, and I had a really nice chat with his girlfriend while we measured her pregnant dog’s heart rate (she is due in about 5 days).

heartrate of pregnant dog. It seems really high (>120), but this is seemingly normal for late pregnancy, and can vary with the time of day according to this paper.
We also looked for the heartbeat of the puppies and I guess we heard them but they are very hard to deconvolute.

puppy heartrates?
The kicks were much easier to feel. So, the human mom is enchanted with the pups and obviously wants good homes for them. She intends to have the mom spayed after this pregnancy. The mama is all sweet and loving when she isn’t around other dogs. They aren’t quite sure how they are going to handle the pregnancy, but she has already had one pregnancy.

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