Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wild Wednesday ~ Tiny Things

Yesterday, when walking in the woods with my kids, I came across something I've been hoping to see for years: green stain fungus.

Okay, actually I've seen the fungus, Chlorociboria spp., many times, in the form of chunks of wood stained a lovely dark teal. But I haven't seen the fruiting bodies, which are known as green elf cups. And then there they were on this little chunk of wood near the river.

I didn't have my camera or even my phone with me, so I brought the wood home and left it outside under a tree overnight. After a solid soaking from an all-night rainstorm, the fruiting bodies doubled in size, from pin head to peppercorn. I imagine they'll keep growing until they develop the classic goblet shape that gives the species its common name.

In other tiny fruiting body news, today I found on our driveway this dead aspen branch that came down in the storm.

Closer inspection revealed that it was colonized with all kinds of life. Each of these orange blobs of jelly fungus was about the size of a currant. I think they might be very tiny specimens of witches butter, Tremella mesenterica, another type of fungal fruiting body. 

And all over the branch grew this bright golden lichens, which is also fruiting, and I think may be Candelaria fibrosa.

Those round disk thingies are the apothecia, or fruiting bodies. Everyone's getting in on the fruiting act it seems.

We've also had a very tiny visitor to our sunroom this week, who I was going to release outside when it got warm today, but the darn thing went and hid on me. Hopefully I'll find him in time for the next edition of Wild Wednesday.


  1. Fascinating and beautiful. These are types of mushrooms (maybe?), but look like they belong under the sea.

    1. They do have an otherworldly look about them don't they?


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