For those of you who were hoping I'd soon be off my fungus obsession, my apologies. This weekend I set out into the woods with a most sincere intention of finding something to photograph that was not a fungus.
My first thought was that I'd find a landscape angle that appealed to me, but the lighting wasn't great, the sky was overcast, and the forest is in that pre-spring brown that I am not at the moment finding appealing. In other words, that didn't work. Then I was taken by the texture of bark on different trees and tried a few bark photographs, which sounds like a good idea in principle but the results didn't match my image of how these photographs should look.
And then, there it was. I was lost (and I don't mean in *that* sense). Before you knew it, I was taking more photos of fungus. Right in front of my toes while I was trying and failing to photograph bark was this magificent log with fungus all over it. Today, for a change, my photo is of one that I'm reasonably sure of the identification. It's a Turkey Tail! The latin name is trametes versicolor.
Turkey Tail is one of the fungus that's known as a winter fungus, though you can find this common polypore in all seasons. Turkey Tail was one of the first fungi to provide a modern drug for cancer treatment, which is just one more reason, as if readers of this blog will need one more, to preserve forests and their diversity. It's described as edible and healthful, but too tough to eat though it can be boiled for tea or soup stock.
I should warn my readers that this is not the only fungus I found in this spot over the weekend, though I do promise that once I'm through posting this next batch of fungus, I will look for something else to photograph.
Tomorrow: More identification woes (and a few reasons why. I think)