Zeta threw down a lot of limbs last week.
It is always interesting to look at what has taken up residence on the dead wood of a tree.
These life forms get heavy with rain, then the wind stresses the limb to the point that gravity wins.
Here is a limb full of life.
It is covered with fungi and lichen.
The fungi here is called a jelly.
The lichens are grouped by their form.
They can be crustose, foliose of fruticose depending on whether they appear crusty, leafy of fruity.
If you would like to learn more, use the link below.
I have been ignoring the fairies.
My mind has been on the pandemic, politics and bereavement.
To tell the truth, I was thinking all good magic had left the Earth.
As one of my friends puts it, “The Force has been disturbed.”
So I was pleased to find this purple mushroom
strategically placed by our trail in the mountains
where we would be sure to see it as we passed.
I have never seen the purple mushroom, ‘Viscid Violet Cort’,
so I knew immediately that it was from the fairies.
They have houses here in the mountains also, made of moss and stone.
They were letting me know all is not lost.
I was not sure if I was supposed to eat this message after seeing it,
so I left it to spread its spores.
Maybe next fall I will find a family of purple Cortinarius indes among the detritus of this terrible 2020.
My heart goes out to the fairies.
Take heart folks. There is still some good magic amongst us.
This darling little button looks good enough to eat.
Not a good idea though.
It’s an Amanita muscaria, Fly Agaric mushroom button.
In the past, it was mixed with milk to drug houseflies.
Don’t count on our North American species to produce visions.
Eating this will produce sweating and dilirium.
Eye candy only. It’s poisonous.
During my wanderings, two brackets were discovered.
One up a tree
and one on an old stump.
Both on wood, one wood living
the other dead.
The white on was high up in a tree.
The brown one was low to the ground hidden by weeds.
The white one looked new, clean and pristine.
The brown bracket looked old, dirty, and weather worn.
One seemed heavenly,
the other earthly.
We have had quite a bit of rain in my part of North Carolina.
We delayed our mountain trip by a day due to more rain.
All that moisture creates the perfect conditions for fungi.
I did not take along my usual camera, so these are from my phone. My shoe is in photos for scale.
At first my daughter got irritated with our stopping for mushrooms.
By the end of the day she was pointing them out to me.
There were hundreds of different types and thousands of them.
Some tiny and others giant. This white one was a foot tall.
It was absolutely magical.
We crested a hill to see thousands of these little orange mushrooms
scattered on both sides of the road.
It was a glorious day.
Rain is a good thing!
A visitor sneaked into the bunny yard last night.
I spotted it this morning, all fluffy and puffy.
It’s the ‘Same Old Slime Mold.’
This is the third spring it has visited this spot.
It must reside under the soil here and emerge when the conditions are right.
I think it is beautiful.
It will not last long. It will be brown and stringy by nightfall.
But for now, I will enjoy this lovely fungal flower.
All it takes is rain for the fungus flowers to appear.
Even in winter, the bonnets bloom.
Perched on stalks like tiny parasols.
Raised only inches high to open their tops
and stretch out their gills
to spread their spores
to sow some more
One of my chores is to pick up sticks in the yard.
I have not done this in a while, so there were lots of them.
I wear my camera in case something interesting shows up while I am out.
I did not see this before I felt it.
Jelly Ear fungus. A slimy resident in old wood.
Auricularia is its Latin genus name.
There is debate about the species name for the form in the south eastern United States.
Its slippery and squishy after a rain.
Next time, I will remember my gloves.
I spied some yellow umbrellas under a Key lime tree.
If I were a fairy, I would have sat under one to drink lemonade.
Since I am only a busy human, I had to continue with my menial tasks.
But I can dream while I work
of sitting under a yellow umbrella
beneath a Key lime tree
drinking lemonade in the shade.