Writings about

the many life lessons

unearthed when we dig

in the dirt . . . and pursue

a range of other interests

in the constantly evolving

garden of life.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

There's a Fungus Among Us

When the rains come and come again, as they have recently, the mushrooms follow. One day I look at a spot, and there's nothing there. The next day – swoosh! – there's an outcropping.

So it is in a swath of mosses I cultivate between the back of the house and Big Momma's Garden. This verdant spot of various mosses, which greens up dramatically in the wet season, is punctuated (literally) by fungusses.



This one came in a clever guise. It seems familiar. Maybe it's some movie character I've seen, or it could be from a childhood fairytale. Whatever, as it breaks the soil, it delivers wonder and a smile. And, always the question: friend or invader?

In any case, mushrooms, fungi, fungusses, serve a useful purpose; their surprising presence calls attention to my need to groom my mosses. At the same time, their sudden appearances remind me that no matter how much I try to keep the moss patch neat, clean and pristine, just beneath the surface grows something that demands to be seen.

12 comments:

  1. They are rather demanding. The interesting forms and even smell. Like the Elegant Stinkhorn that is now in my garden. UGH... It smells awful. The flies love it though. I have a mossy path that is trying to recover from the drought now that we have had some rain. It is slow coming back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thing mosses are so resilient, Lisa. Even a little rain greens them right up. Hope your path is verdant again.

      Delete
  2. Hey Lee,

    I do love mushrooms, mosses, lichens and any kind of colorful fungi.

    What better time than Fall and the plentiful rains to see them in abundance.

    They make great photographic subjects also, as your giant one illustrates.

    My favorite of all is one called British Soldier lichens. Tiny little red 'soldiers' all lined up as if marching in a row. Have you seen them? I've only seen them a few times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting you mention those British soliders, Barbara (I didn't know that name for it). I love that lichen and can only keep a tiny piece going. Alas, I haven't been able to get it to spread. That name is the perfect description.

      Delete
  3. I have seen some fungi this year I have never seen before. Weird and beautiful, I am fascinated by them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Deb. The one I photographed is a first-time visitor to my garden. Our unusual visitors are just more strangenesses in a very strange year.

      Delete
  4. Fungi are supposed to indicate the health of your soil --- when they pop up they let you know you have an active, well nourished, thriving, tilthy patch of acid soil, exactly what your mosses need. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great news, Laurrie. Now, I can look forward to some good moss spread. Cheers.

      Delete
  5. Jon Pringle, Essex, VTOctober 1, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    Interesting post. Last sentence brought to mind the title of a movie made a few miles from here starring Harrison Ford - "What Lurks Beneath". Wasn't really about our gardens at all. I have a Russian friend that would love to have your mushrooms with his evening meal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jon. Perfect association, that movie title. Your Russian friend obviously knows his way around mushroom picking, while I'm always guessing about which ones are poisonous. Given the proliferation here this year, I'm inspired to study identification, yet again.

      Delete
  6. I have fungus that pops up after it rains so I'll take Laurries comment as a compliment. But the slime molds I can do without. At least you're growing a plant that doesn't need to be watered!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No watering, yes – a silver lining around the fungus. Hey, I'll take it. Nothing, however, can make the slime . . . palatable.

      Delete

To submit a comment, simply comment as: "name/URL" and fill in your name.
A URL is not required.