December 2013
Backyard Wilderness Blog
Over the course of Spring, Summer, and Autumn I take hundreds of photos of plants and fungi throughout many fields and forests from Vermont to North Carolina. Many of them never make it to the appropriate monthly blog pages due to space considerations or delay in identification, so here are a few of the more interesting ones I found earlier this year...
"Dog Vomit" slime mold is a terrible name, yet totally appropriate for the colony of organisms to the right. Usually found on lawns or wood mulch and often mistaken for a fungus, this interesting plasmodium, or grouping of amoeba-like cells can actually move in search of nutrients! Recent studies have shown that certain slime molds possess the ability to chelate certain toxic metals, converting them to inactive forms, holding promise for new ways to treat polluted soils. - photo taken 07-18-13 in Williston, VT. Big thanks to Peggy McIntyre of Gardener's Supply for bringing this one to our attention!
Clavariadelphus ligula, or Earth Tongue is shown left. It is found growing through leaf duff in damp spots under coniferous forests throughout Asia, Europe and North America all summer and early fall. Attaining a height of nearly five inches and growing in troops, (or clusters,) this fungus is interesting, but should NEVER be eaten.
This photo was taken at Grow Compost in Moretown, VT, July 10, 2013.
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These white, chanterelle-like mushrooms, (perhaps Pleurotus cornucopiae, actual ID not yet determined,) were growing on a log in Centennial Woods, a one-hundred acre forest preserved by the University of Vermont in the city of Burlington.
The Yellow Waxy Caps, Hygrocybe flavescens,are such a brilliant color they look as if they are internally illuminated! This photo was taken at Mud Pond Park in Williston, VT.