Fungus mystery solved?
In an earlier post of mine, I referenced some unusual amber droplets collecting within and around some type of shelf / bracket fungus on a tree stump. Here’s a few shots of the stump and the full fungal growth. There is a discernible line of clear droplets forming underneath many of the fruiting bodies, with amber droplets forming both above and below the fruiting body. It appears this is a common characteristic in many types of shelf / bracket fungi, but I still haven’t found a description of the function of the droplets or what causes the fungi to exude them. It is rather interesting to observe, though I made no attempt to poke, touch, smell or otherwise interact with the sappy substance besides photographing it.
I wonder if the fungus is exuding actual tree sap because many of these fungi are parasitic. In other cases, they grow on trees that have already fallen or died, so it works both ways. A wikipedia entry about shelf fungus mentions the following “They can also be used as a wick in an oil/fat lamp. Use a shell, turtle shell, or non-burning oil/fat container. Prop fungus up using three little rocks. Place oil or fat in container. Once Bracket Fungus turns black and has absorbed oil it is ready to light.” So they are able to absorb liquid/oil meaning the droplets they produce could be water or sap or perhaps some component of the phloem of the tree that they are absorbing? I think I still have more questions then answers. 😉
As Above, So Below – The last days of Winter
Technically it’s the first day of spring, but this image sums up my feelings about it all. I’m always sad to see the Winter leave. This was taken in February at the Marsh. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more Winter next year (or in a week or two if the “Powers that Be” still favor a late snow, like in the past).
Sycamore Over Water
Another view from the Marsh. The sycamore tree is particularly beautiful in the winter season and one of my favorite trees to photograph.
Rainbow inside a Cloud
Tried to capture this unusual effect of light and ice crystals in the sky. The images aren’t the best as I was a passenger in a car at the time. Took these out of the window. I’ve since learned that this phenomena is called circumhorizontal arc or “fire rainbow”. At least, that is what it appears to be. It is hard to covey the full effect with these photos, as the clouds were in constant motion. I did question the circumhorizontal arc theory because cirrus clouds don’t seem to be involved. They looked far more like cumulus or stratocumulus clouds. Maybe this effect is simply “cloud iridescence”. Not sure how to tell. Regardless of what it is called, it was truly beautiful and a lovely way to end the day.
A face in the snow?
Captured this unique image from the bridge over-looking a small creek. I was fascinated by how much it resembled a profile, like faces from art-deco paintings I’ve seen or architecture of that ilk (maybe I just thought this because of the juxtaposition of steel girders from the bridge). It’s also a little like Jack Frost himself, blowing icy cold wind over the parks and glens. That works for me too. (I kind of like winter *understatement*). I’d be curious to hear what it evokes in other people’s imaginations.
Note from the artist: This house was hand made by myself (T Wells) and my nephew (B Wells) who is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. We crafted the house from scratch, collecting birch bark, pine bark, moss, and pine cones. We picked up some unique fixtures from a local reuse store (drawer handles, antique door hinges) The walk way was made from cut and polished stones (I have a rock hound – and core member of the Che-Hanna Rock and Mineral Club – in the family). The swing was made from scratch by my nephew. The little bird house and trinkets in the diorama weren’t made by us (everything else was). Those items were all found in a box of ‘doo-dads’ that had taken up residence in my attic. The house was built from cardboard, then covered with the bark, moss, and pine cone parts. It took us a couple days of non-stop work to make the entire set up. The house stands 15″ tall, 11″ wide and about 11″ deep. The diorama is about 3 feet by 2 feet and contained everything from a bird bath, small pond, and miniature table with tea cups and flowers (which can be seen in a couple of the shots). The day it was all photographed, we had quite a fight with the weather and sunlight, leaving me disappointed by the quality of the photos. We had carried the entire piece 2 miles out into the woods looking for the “perfect spot” to set up. It was quite the production. The photographs do not do it justice. Hopefully I will be able to take more pictures at some point in the future. (And bring another 2-3 people to help carry the set up someplace more inviting). I want to thank my nephew for his dedication and assistance in this project. He did a great job.