365 Nature – Day 335

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.

It’s autumn and I’ve given up trying to avoid fungi. They’re simply everywhere, and so interesting that I just can’t walk by without stopping to look and take a photo. Over the last 300 plus days of this project, I’ve tried to focus on different things, but over the last month it seems fungi has taken over the days. True, I’ve written about and photographed mosses, slime molds and lichens, but it always seems to come back to fungi. To be honest though, why would I really want to avoid fungi?

Today was no exception. I set off determined to find something different, but within a few minutes I spotted a patch of white coral fungi. Earlier this autumn I found a beautiful patch of orange coral fungi on Day 313 and several others throughout the year. I stopped to take photos of the white coral fungi and found several clumps growing up in an area about three feet in diameter.

Later on my walk, I stopped by the pond to dip my net and scooped up very little. A lot of snails, a couple damselfly larvae and a very few scud, but little else. I wonder what the damselfly and dragonfly larvae eat during the autumn and winter months. And I wonder what happens to the scuds and what stage they overwinter as. Since I saw the scuds carrying eggs and young, I know they don’t leave their eggs on their own, so I suspect they must overwinter as adults. But where they go I can only guess. During the summer and early autumn I would catch dozens of them in each dip, but now they are gone. Perhaps they, and other animals, go to the bottom of the pond for the winter.

Near the pond I spotted a huge patch of brown mushrooms growing in the mulch under a tree. The area they spread across was easily ten feet in diameter, perhaps even larger. In the same area, red mushrooms and some smaller brown ones grew between the large patch of dark brown mushrooms. On the other side of the pond, a small patch of tall, yellowish mushrooms grew. It’s amazing how many different mushrooms there are and how many different species grow in the arboretum.

Kelly Brenner
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