Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's a mushroom kind of day

Well, it's summer time, and the livin' is easy.  We've had a lot of rain, and the result, along with flooded basements, is that mushrooms are sprouting up all over.  They seem to grow, just like Topsy, without any other explanation, and with a speed that would make a science reporter's head spin.  At the same time, various outrageous science stories are sprouting like mushrooms, stories we don't even have the inclination to comment seriously on.  Not on a sultry day, when one should be in a kindly mood.

This time it's anthropology, but it isn't only anthropologists who can offer up Just-So stories that don't bear even a microsecond's scrutiny, the mushrooms among the ferns, though I think our profession tops most physical and biological science in this (on occasion we might have to cede the laurel wreath to some social scientists, politicians, and others).  It's harder to find the beautiful ferns and flowers among the mushrooms....but they're there.

Indeed, even the real sort of mushrooms are beautiful.  Here are some from our small yard after still another rainy day.












Cauliflower mushroom






10 comments:

Holly Dunsworth said...

Gosh this is cryptic.

If it was a tweet I think it would classify as a subtweet.

Nice shrooms!

Has anyone read "The Mushroom Hunters"? It was featured on "Well Read" and looks great.

Anne Buchanan said...

Holly, it was either cryptic or all-out assault. Cryptic is better.

I will check "The Mushroom Hunters." There was a great piece in The New Yorker a few years ago about mushroom hunters -- wonder if it's the same story.

Can anyone id any of these shrooms? I tried.

ahcuah said...

Note: the indian pipe (photos 6 and 7) is not a mushroom. It is a parasitic plant that lacks chlorophyll.

Anne Buchanan said...

Thanks for that, ahcuah.

Ken Weiss said...

Reply
Thanks! We like the beauty.....but are not mushroom specialists, obviously!

middle.professor said...

The indian pipes make a great story for intro biology. These are myco-hetrotrophs and are parasitic on soil fungi, which are generally parasitic (or some mutualistic or commensal) on the forest plants. The little white bells are the flowers, so these are perfectly good flowering plants - just not photosynthetic! Many orchids are also myco-heterotrophs at young stages.

Ken Weiss said...

Reply to middle.prof
Thanks! We learn new things every day, most of them (like this) exceedingly interesting....

Anne Buchanan said...

Should have taken your class, middle.professor.

Unknown said...

The second, third, and fifth from the top look like they could be Lactarius sp. A couple of species of that genus are delicious, and are the sort of thing that causes traffic jams in mountain roads in Catalonia in wet autumns (this season is quite bountiful, actually).

Anne Buchanan said...

Ah, thanks. We were just in northern Europe, where chanterelles were plentiful, and so good. Soup, salad, chicken dishes...