Friday, September 27, 2013

A Nice Damp Spot

 While most of our area is still experiencing the standard drying out of late summer, a few shady, damp spots are where I visit often to keep track of Fall developments.  Light rains, or morning dew, provide sufficient moisture to launch a series of beautiful fungi.  On my way to the spot where I am keeping track of Orange Peel Fungi (below), I spotted a patch of blooming Burr Clover (above).  This was a reminder that most wildflowers that are still blooming at this time of year are yellow.  I don't know if that's really true, or if I'm just subject to selective observation.  At any rate, these little yellow blossoms planted the idea in my mind of doing a more directed search for blooms, maybe tomorrow, and see if what I find are mostly or entirely yellow.
 I've been watching the Orange Peel Fungi for over a week and keeping track of their growth by using a penny for scale. A penny is about 19 mm in diameter, so that makes the fungus about 34 mm across at its longest dimension, or penny at 3/4" and fungus at a little over 1 1/4 ".  You can follow the growth rate by scrolling back to last week's first photos of this fungus.  I'm going to keep track of it as long as it lasts.
Right next to the fungus is a latch of grass that is always laden with dew in the morning, and due to the shade, often stays wet all day.  An ideal place for fungi to thrive.
I first photographed this little pair of fungi (above) last week when they were tiny, perhaps 1/8" across.
The Amanita, growing in a similar habitat by a neighboring building, was once round and looked like a classic cartoon mushroom or toadstool.  This is a slightly sunnier area, and perhaps the Amanita has a different programmed season, but it is clearly fading.  Click on any of these photos for closer views.

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