18 Jul 2011

Pretty Colors!

One of my problems is I am a highly distractable person, you really can’t take me anywhere without me wandering off at some point with out saying a word.  Once I’ve spotted something potentially interesting my brain cuts out and all other considerations vanish.  This walk in the park was no exception, we were on our way to the Jackson Park Japanese Gardens when I saw a flash of orange through the trees down by the shore of the pond.   So away I go, down into the underbrush to investigate, leaving my friends to continue walking along without me.  A moment later they realized I had vanished but since they know and understand me they were able to find me pretty quickly.

Like a magpie, I am drawn to bright colors and shiny objects.  In this case it turned out to be a rotted and mostly dead tree sprouting a rather impressive array of bright orange and yellow shelf fungus.

Even more interesting was that the fungus was growing fungus.  It had been invaded by a grey and black mold, speckling the surface and giving it a more eerie and creepified look than usual.  I personally love fungus for so many different reasons but for now we’ll just stick to the discussion of the really pretty ones.  I would have loved to have captured this one before it was infected since usually I only ever see the woody type shelf fungus which is not any where near as colorful as this soft bodied specimen.

Woody Shelf Fungus:

But back to my pretty orange specimen in a nearly abstract capture:
One of the coolest things about fungus?  This is a very small fraction of the whole organism, most of the fungus is microscopic filaments boring throughout the wood of the tree and causing rot.  This is just the flower, so to speak.

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