Sunday, October 18, 2015

Death throes, or hibernation?

 For context, scroll back through my several recent blogs dealing with the impressive Shaggy Mane fungus.  As promised, I checked the patch on Jackson Street this morning, and they has both grown and disintegrated!  The stems are around 3: taller than they were yesterday, yet the caps are further along in their self-digestion.  I suspect there will be no sign of caps remaining tomorrow.
I should add that neither "death throes" nor "hibernation" are technically correct descriptions of this scene.  If I could use time-lapse photography and show what happened to these caps over 24 hours in a one-minute clip, it might look like "throes,"  but it wouldn't be death because the fungus will continue to live below ground.  Then we can think of each "mushroom" like a wart - a wart the comes and goes, but happens to carry all the DNA of the whole organism.  Maybe I'm stretching my poetic license a bit too far.  It's also not really hibernation, even though the fungus is getting ready for winter.

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