Tuesday, October 18, 2011

False Turkey Tail

False Turkey Tail - Stereum ostrea
I took a walk at Wolsfeld Woods SNA today, near Long Lake.  I had the place to myself, it being a rather chilly, windy, and rain spattered day.  The woods looked quite bare, but still appealing; the ground was carpeted with various browns from the fallen oak and maple leaves, and since most of the leaves were on the ground I had a clear view of the completely appropriate for October grey sky.  Despite the bareness and openness of the woods, I somehow felt comfortably enclosed and sheltered, with the sky and ground seeming closer together than usual.  I suppose you had to be there.

I found many logs covered with False Turkey Tails, Stereum ostrea, all bleached out in appearance due to the mostly dry weather we've been having I suppose.  I knew it could be a more colorful fungus, so I tried an experiment; I sprayed one with water, taking a picture after each spray.  The change was dramatic . . .
another spray (and waiting for the flash to recharge or whatever it does) . . .
more water . . .
one last spray . . .
It stayed this color for the ten or so more minutes that I hung around (nothing better to do than watch fungus dry).

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