Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fungal bits

It has been almost 100 degrees the last couple of days, and I have not been doing anything blog-worthy, so here is something from a cooler time of year.

In my seemingly endless effort to get the pasture fenced and usable, I had some rotting logs to contend with. They had lain in the pasture zone for several years, and were not something we wanted to leave in there for the horses. And they were soggy and rotten, so they would not make good firewood. Thus they were my least favorite log chore; all the effort of firewood with no neat stack to show for it.They were mossy and damp from the unusually wet spring. Looking closer at the moss, I saw these interesting little spikes or stalks. (Click on the photos to see them larger.)

They were small, delicate and, well, very specific looking. Odds were they were created for a specific task.

A little risky web surfing indicated that they are the reproductive organs of fungus, preparing to release their spores to the wind.

So I did the best I could to keep the chunks of moss they were living in intact, and set them to the side of the pile. Hopefully, they were able to complete their mission, and next spring there will be another crop of these tiny wild ones.


  1. Incredible! I really enjoy seeing all of the pictures! I have thought about growing my own mushrooms for eating but I'm waiting for a parcel of land first. Have you considered growing your own? I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on growing mushrooms and sustainability.

  2. Hey Holly, sorry it took so long to reply but Buck thought I was going to and I thought he was...
    Well anyway, I have been dreaming of starting a Morel patch for some time now. Morels are a little unpredictable though.
    Woody (http://woodysrockyridge.blogspot.com/2011/03/sprung.html ) is starting on his second batch of shittake though. Check it out. It looks fun and I don't think it would have to wait until you get more land. It looks pretty doable in a yard.


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