Posts Tagged 'fungus'

Mushroom Heaven

There was a lot of rain in September. That made the fruiting bodies of fungi very happy. This one was found like this. I don’t suspect Andy Goldsworthy….Deep under a beech. Very hard to reproduce their (fungi are more closely related to animals than plants) purples, at least as seen by my all-too-human eyes.

***
Still enslaved by Facebook’s “surveillance capitalism“?

Rust Never Sleeps

Cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniperivirginianae) just past its peak gelatinous stage on an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. These telial horns fire off spores during the wet spring season. The spores float off, perhaps to find a rose family tree like an apple or crabapple (Malus) for the the next stage of its life.

One of my favorite lifeforms.

Bracket

Or shelf. Monday’s mushroom, or fruiting fungal body, was growing out of a stump in Green-Wood. The volcanic cone of old wood, all hollowed out inside, was host to several such ‘shrooms: this was the smaller and fresher looking of them.

I know it’s the beginning of the week, but just think of the fungal kingdom surrounding us in the soil and the air. It’s their planet; we’re just maiming it.

Fungus Boroughs

Obolaria virginica

A gentian family member not easy to spot down in the leaf litter of early spring. This was poking up less than two inches. We found this one, and others, in an unused, unpaved driveway in Virginia. Appropriately enough, since both its species epithet and common name, Virginia Pennywort, reference the state. (Virginia Pennyleaf is another name for it.) It does not seem to get up here to New York.

Notably, though it has green leaves, it’s one of the plants that isn’t fully dependent on photosynthesis. Instead, it takes some of its energy from the fungi it’s symbiotically associated with. That makes this it a mycotroph, or fungus flower.

Oak Wilt

Damn it! I really wanted to start on a positive note, but the bad news just keeps coming. Oak wilt has been discovered in Brooklyn. This is a lethal fungal infection of oaks and other species, its spores spread by beetles.

img_2116When I was in Green-Wood on Friday, I heard a chipper hard at work. As I got closer, I realized it was grinding up one of my favorite old Red Oaks! That’s about 7 feet of stump still to go. This is the tree whose globular fungal growths, which have nothing to do with the wilt as far as I’ve been able to tell, have piqued my curiosity before. The sixth image down here is what these mushrooms look like when fresh.

Here’s more about the disease.

Oaks are so damn important. Their relationship to a host of life forms, particularly insects and birds, puts them deep within a spreading web of ecological connections (Muir Webs). And we have a lot of oaks here in the city, on the street and in the parks and woodlands.

I mean, it’s a double-whammy: a killer orange fungus soon to be soiling the White House, and a nasty fungal pathogen going after some of our grandest trees.

Oregonia

mushroom

caterpillar

bark

img_0956

img_1005

img_0800

There’s your beautiful world, NW edition. Here’s Masha Gessen, an old hand at autocracy, on surviving Trumpism, very necessary reading now.


Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 557 other followers

Nature Blog Network

Archives