It’s only because Dog took off when I was trying to tie my shoe that I found this very cool fungus. Dog, who is overly-clever, saw my need to have two free hands to tie my shoe as an opportunity to wander off. And naturally, I couldn’t go after him with an untied shoe lace or I’d soon be stepping out of the shoe and into the mud. So I finished tying the lace and then went after Dog, who really didn’t go far. But, where he did go was into the rough, stony area in front of the cabin that’s filled with monkey vines and rocks of various sizes, not to mention downed trees and branches and holes where long-gone trees once stood. And that’s where I found this neat fungus.
I think the fungus is one called yellow cup fungus, though I’m not certain, as this particular fungus is a bit past its prime. Other possibilities also have excellent names, like witches’ butter or orange fairy cup. In fact, many of the fungus have excellent names, like orange peel, gray urn (it looks exactly like one), dead man’s fingers, elfin saddle or red pimple fungus.
Spring is quite a bit in evidence around me right now, more so down off the mountain than up where I am. This morning I heard the first mockingbird up on the mountain, as well as several singing robins. Last night I was down off the mountain and actually heard spring peepers, though I think those guys were really pushing it. I had a hard frost last night, and the forecast is for overnight temperatures in the low 20’s. Down off the mountain I’ve also heard red-winged blackbird, another early arrival. Spring takes longer to arrive up where I am, though I’m only 5-600 feet above the valley, but down there the habitat is more farmland than forest. That’s enough, apparently, to make the difference.