Thursday, August 20, 2015
There are at least five groups of this poisonous fungus that have appeared this year at the foot and by the roots of the old red oak that fell toward the water within a year of our moving here. This is a Jack O' Lantern, Omphalotus illudens and not a Chanterelles, as some think. I think the primary definition is that it grows in close clusters rather than individual mushrooms and that is has true gills.
We did think the tree fall might have been a warning omen but since many more trees have fallen both with storms and without them, we think this forest is just reaching its climax stage. I had to crawl through thorny bush, past spider webs and over large mounds of soft leaves and soft decaying wood to get this close. It was worth it, right?
There is a folk tale that the gills glow in the dark. Maybe if I have energy I will trump down to the dock with my camera this evening.