Monday, September 20, 2010

Take a Look: Fungus Among Us

“I’d like to be,
Under the sea,
In an octopus’s garden
In the shade.”

That’s what popped into my mind when I spotted this woodland beauty—a Beatles song.

Even though the fungus was attached to a rotting log next to the trail, it looked like it belonged in the midst of a coral reef off the coast of Florida or Hawaii or even Australia.

The fungus was nestled among the birches and beeches, aspens and stripped maples of a New Hampshire forest bursting with biodiversity. Lush mosses blanketed the shady ground and lichen-covered boulders left behind by the Ice Age formed the backbone of a magical place that filled my senses and calmed my mind. It was the best hike I’ve been on in years.

When we got home, I set to work trying to identify the fungus. I thought it would take a while, but I had my answer in just a few minutes. And I wasn’t a bit surprised by its name—white coral tooth fungus.

Isn’t it lovely!

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