The Beauty of Decay

There are many reasons that I love fungi.

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I have featured them many times on this blog.

When one sees mushrooms, brackets and their kin

we know that something is dead or dying.

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Beauty in death?  Yes.

Everything must die.

Fungi takes the valuable organic molecules and recycles them back

to a usable form.

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Decomposition is a renewing process.

I think these weeping conks are beautiful.

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The dying tree is all ready sharing the wealth it harvested from the sun

during its growing years.

Giving back to its neighbors as it declines.

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Beautiful isn’t it?

FLOW

In a Canoe to Up a Tree

My family spent a cool afternoon in the mountains20180813_125423.jpg

paddling around a lake in kayaks and a canoe.

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We stick to the perimeter because there is so much to see along the shore.

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That’s how I spotted these lovely brackets from the water.

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After our time on the water, I tracked down this dead tree.

I had to do some climbing to get these photos.

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There were at least three years worth of Ganoderma on the trunk.

I am hesitant to identify any fungi for fear someone will

find that fungus and eat it or make some tea

and lose their liver because of me.

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Ganoderm

It is a polypore.  That means it has pores instead of gills.

I am so happy that when the flowers start to fade,

the fungi emerge.

FLOW

The Mushroom of Immortality

I found them clinging to the side of an old maple tree.

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The color glowed in the morning sun.

Eating it could give spiritual potency and even immortality.

Such a lovely shine and color.

Shaped like a delicate pastry in a bakery.

Arranged nicely along the trunk like a serving tower.

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One little Ling Chih was caught between trees.

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Should I just eat some here under the tree?

Would there be enough for me to share with my family?

Should I carry some back to give to my elderly parents?

I really should share my good fortune with others…but how much and with who?

Did I remove the Ganoderma lucidum from the tree?

Did I eat the Ling Chih?

We shall see.

FLOWER

 

A Few Sunny Minutes

During the few sunny minutes yesterday,

I took pictures and planted some dahlias that I had started in pots.

Everything is wet here in North Carolina.

At least we do live high on a hill, so no flooding worries for our house.

The gardens….are like pudding.

So while we are inside again today. Here are some sunny pictures from yesterday.

My memorial day photo is first.  A red Asiatic lily with a blue dragon fly.

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I also include my favorite little Asiatic from my daughter’s  lily garden below.

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It’s the tiny two in the middle. Named ‘Tiny Bee.’

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Tiny Bee Asiatic lily

More slime mold showed up in the bunny yard.

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I see why the slime mold, Fuligo septic, is nicknamed “dog vomit.”  If I had a dog, I’d be taking him to the vet after finding this.  Mold and mushrooms are everywhere!

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Another new daylily is blooming, ‘Nutmeg Spice.’

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Nutmeg Spice daylily

I have been cleaning my workshop during these many days of rain.

Do not expect a photo. I am ashamed of its neglect and nastiness.

Try to stay dry people.

FLOWER

Alien Invades the Bunny Yard

I spotted it early this morning,

hiding up against one of the deck posts.

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I kept an eye on it all day.

By afternoon it had slithered around the side of the pole.

It left prints wherever it went.

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Slime mold on the back of pole AM
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Slime mold back of pole PM

I hope it leaves soon.

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I’m not really scared of the thing.

I am pretty sure we can outrun it.

FLOW

 

I Found an Earthstar

I found an Earthstar in my yard.

Its rays were spread, its sac was flat, its spores were gone.

Its job was done.

I peeked into the mouth-like hole to see if I could spot a spore.

But all were washed away by rain.

This tiny barometer knew just when

to unfold rays and open its pore

to send its tiny jewels into the wet world

to be stars.

The Conk Colony

I have been watching the growth of a group of conks around an old oak in town.

I think its scientific name is Inonotus dryadeus. 

Other common names are weeping conk, oak bracket, warted oak polypore and weeping polypore.

Inonotus dryadeus

It is a beautiful sight, but a bad sign.

The presence of the weeping conks is a sign of root rot or butt rot. More and bigger conks mean more rot for the tree.

I posted on a lone giant conk last year. This group is a block away from that one.

conk cross-section

This city has very old oak trees in the hell strips.

The roots get damage from the sidewalk side and the street side.

It’s amazing they have lived this long.

I find all fungi fascinating whether they are friend or foe.

FLOWER

See Everything by Looking for Nothing

This life lesson started out with a lost lens cap.

It fell out of my pocket in the woods.

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So if I don’t find it soon, it will be covered with leaves.

There are no paths in my woods.

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I meander around without much notice of my location.

These are my woods. I can’t get lost, but a lens cap can.

I felt obliged to go look for it. It would be easier to find a needle in a haystack.

I took my camera, as usual.

I was looking for a round, dark, man-made object.

Here are my pictures from the search.

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Round, dark, man-made objects.  Blah!

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Today, I went into my woods looking for nothing.

I found everything!

Moss, mushrooms, fairy houses, lichens…

and (NO LIE) the lens cap.

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Open mind… Open eyes…

See everything while looking for nothing.

Go with the FLOW.

The Poisonous Path

I went into the woods this evening

to try to locate a lovely bracket fungi that I had photographed previously.

I needed to look up to find it,

but one must always look down while walking in the woods.

This is how I found the path…

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of white mushrooms.

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Yes, they are poisonous Amanitas.  They are lovely but deadly.

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Fear not. I was following their path, not eating them.

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A circle of these is called a fairy ring, so I thought of this as a fairy path.

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If YOU found a fairy path in the woods wouldn’t YOU follow it?

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Every ten feet or so was another cluster of lovely, glowing, white mushrooms.

It went on and on until I had to pause in awe.

There before my very eyes was the Mother of all mushrooms.

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It was big enough to wear as a hat.

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It was a magical adventure. I am so lucky.

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The FLOWER follows a poisonous path through the woods and survives to tell the tale.