Magical Mushrooms

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.

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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.

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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.

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It was absolutely magical.

We crested a hill to see thousands of these little orange mushrooms

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scattered on both sides of the road.

It was a glorious day.

Rain is a good thing!

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Another Slimy Spring

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.

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Fungus Flowers

All it takes is rain for the fungus flowers to appear.

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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

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to spread their spores

to sow some more

fungus flowers.

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Jelly Ears on a Stick

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.

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Yellow Umbrellas

I spied some yellow umbrellas under a Key lime tree.

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If I were a fairy, I would have sat under one to drink lemonade.

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Since I am only a busy human, I had to continue with my menial tasks.

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But I can dream while I work

of sitting under a yellow umbrella

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beneath a Key lime tree

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Lemon-yellow Lepiota/ Lepiota lutea

drinking lemonade in the shade.

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Same Old Slime Mold

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.

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Conk up: Tree down

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?

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