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.
I found a group of tiny mushrooms in a pot of Haworthia.
Succulents like it dry and mushrooms like it wet.
But these two seem perfectly happy in the same pot.
I guess we must grow where we are planted.
It appeared in the late afternoon. It was not there that morning when I hung out the laundry.
It climbed up the edge of the concrete just feet from where it emerged from the ground last year.
Same sulfur yellow, same blobbing fan of puffy, pasty goo.
The bunnies seemed undisturbed by its presence.
Of course, they also ignore snakes and chipmunks…and me when I call them to come in.
It was much bigger this morning.
I am going to keep an eye on this sneaky slime mold.
No telling what it plans to do.
I think I can outrun it.
It’s not all flowers here in my garden.
I found this little colony of cup fungi while weeding.
I have looked in all my books, but there is no perfect match.
The white stalk and jelly inside do not fit with all the photos.
Anybody out there know their name?
I am fascinated by all things fungi.
This particular conk, Inonotus dryadeus, has been featured in my posts before.
It was growing at the base of a huge oak in my neighbors’ yard.
Another name for this type of fungi is “white rot.”
It is a symptom of the decline of the tree it is on.
The more conks present, the more disease.
Conks are a symptom, not a cause.
Last week the tree came down,
with some help from a team of men with ropes and chain saws.
My neighbor left the conk on my stone bench because she knew I would want to keep it.
Here it is now out of the ground and upside down.
I think it is beautiful.
Maybe I could make it into a hat to match these shoes?
These fungi have the common name of “Bird’s Nest” or splash cups.
Each may look like a tiny nest full of eggs, but it acts like a catapult .
No bird mama would shoot her precious eggs out of the nest like balls from a canon,
but this Cyanthus olla does just that.
These tiny splash cups are ripe and ready for rain.
When a raindrop plops into the cup, it triggers an ejection mechanism (funiculus)
to shoot out the eggs (peridioles) with a coil and sticky blob attached.
This contraption flies a few feet into the air and the coil wraps around whatever it hits.
The “egg” hangs around until it dries and splits open, releasing its spores.
Then many more itty bitty bird’s nest form. Who knew fungi could be so fun?
There are many reasons that I love fungi.
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.
Beauty in death? Yes.
Everything must die.
Fungi takes the valuable organic molecules and recycles them back
to a usable form.
Decomposition is a renewing process.
I think these weeping conks are beautiful.
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.
Beautiful isn’t it?
My family spent a cool afternoon in the mountains
paddling around a lake in kayaks and a canoe.
We stick to the perimeter because there is so much to see along the shore.
That’s how I spotted these lovely brackets from the water.
After our time on the water, I tracked down this dead tree.
I had to do some climbing to get these photos.
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.
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.
I found them clinging to the side of an old maple tree.
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.
One little Ling Chih was caught between trees.
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.