Category Archives: Nature

Mushrooms Beneath the Pines

The large cap of this dark mushroom caught my eye as I crossed a large lawn under a stand of pine trees.

Large Dark Brown Mushroom with Small Cluster Behind
Large Dark Brown Mushroom with Small Cluster Behind

The cluster of smaller, overlapping mushrooms behind it was pretty interesting, too.

Cluster of Mushrooms
Cluster of Mushrooms

Taken from above, the cluster looked like buttons, although these don’t look like the button mushrooms sold at the grocery store.

Cluster of Mushrooms From Above
Cluster of Mushrooms From Above

Flowing Fungus

From a distance it looked like something man-made, maybe a piece of trash stuck in the tree trunk by a human.

White Fungus on Tree
White Fungus on Tree

Fortunately it turned out to be nature-made.

White Fungus on Tree
White Fungus on Tree

And quite bizarre looking, sort of like a lava flow.

White Fungus on Tree
White Fungus on Tree

A close up view of the strands:

White Fungus on Tree
White Fungus on Tree

 

Shelf Fungi

I spotted all three of these fungi just a few yards (meters) apart from the boardwalk crossing a swamp.

The first one struck me as a great spot for a bird or insect to perch although I don’t know how securely it is attached to the tree and no obliging subjects came along to test it out.

White Fungus on Tree Trunk
White Fungus on Tree Trunk

The next one was much more delicate, and also could serve as a perch but I suspect it wouldn’t hold up to much weight.

White Fungus on Tree Trunk
White Fungus on Tree Trunk

This final group was on a tree facing the one just above, looking like auditorium seating for a performance.

White Fungus on Tree Trunk
White Fungus on Tree Trunk

Vireo Nest, Empty

I’ve checked back on the White-eyed Vireo nest from my June 15th post a few times, and about a week later got a similar image, without the rain.

White-eyed Vireo on Nest
White-eyed Vireo on Nest, June 18

Two weeks later, the nest was empty. Could chicks have hatched and fledged in that short time? All About Birds says their nestling period is 9 – 11 days, so yes it is possible.

Vireo Nest, Now Empty
Vireo Nest, Now Empty

Once I was sure there were no birds in the nest I got closer for a side view. Although a bit shabby looking at the bottom, what an engineering marvel this nest was.

Vireo Nest, Now Empty
Vireo Nest, Now Empty, July 3

Also from All About Birds:

Males and females build a pendulous nest suspended from a Y-shaped fork. They collect insect silk and spiderweb and attach it to the fork until it makes a lacy shell. They then stick leaves, bark, plant fibers, rootlets, and bits of paper to the spiderweb shell. They also stick lichens, moss, or leaves to the outside for additional camouflage. The female lines the nest with rootlets, fine grass, or hair. It takes the pair around 3–5 days to complete the nest.