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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fungus amung us

The almost-daily (it seems) rain of the last few weeks has brought out lots of mushrooms and other fungi. Until recently, I didn't know that mushrooms are the above-ground fruiting bodies of fungi that often live underground; in other words, any time we see a fairy ring of mushrooms like the one I saw in Toledo last fall, there's an orgy going on somewhere. We've not had any fairy rings at our place, but oh, my, have we had fungi.
 Here we have two varieties growing in a very small area next to a young spicebush.

 Until this summer, I'd not paid much attention to the variety of shapes in a single species, never mind the different types.
 Some look almost like the flowers they (sort of) are
while others resemble coral or stone--or maybe elephant skin.
 Then  there is the charming "dog-vomit fungus" that grows on mulch. Its other common name is "Scrambled egg slime mold," which at least represents its actual biological classification while at the same time ruining one's breakfast.
 My favorite fungi of the year so far, though, were in a neighbor's yard. All I could think was that either tiny aliens had landed,
 or some very tipsy fairies had put up patio umbrellas.
The day after these pictures were taken, the neighbor mowed the lawn, so the alien fairies have taken their party elsewhere.

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