Living horsehairs

October 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

One of the great joys of autumn rain, besides an easing of my anxiety about running out of well-gleaned drinking water, is the way moisture brings a wide variety of dormant fungi to life. Of course, the mushrooms have been more or less active all along, but they've been doing their work out of sight, either underground or hidden in the tissues of plants and animals. But when it gets wet outside, the reproductive ends of fungi—the caps and shelves we recognize instantly as mushrooms—spring from out of what appears to be nowhere and grace the woods and fields. Some of the mushrooms are huge and highly sought after by mycophiles. I certainly wouldn't turn down a Giant Puffball or a cluster of log-dwelling oyster mushrooms or Hens-of-the-Woods, but more often than not, my investigations turn up species more curious than edible. That's fine by me. These Horsehair Mushrooms, no bigger than an inch high, will not appear on my dinner table, but they sure are a wonderful sight in the 85mm micro lens.


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