Category Archives: Fungi

Random Fungi: Turkey Tails and Kin

One of the most common forest fungi in North America is the turkey tail (Polyporales: Polyporaceae: Trametes versicolor). Found year-round on decaying hardwood trees and sometimes conifers, this mushroom gets its common name from its colorful, fan-like similarity to the tail of … Continue reading

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I lichen this to a human skull

Lichens are common composite organisms that can be found in many diverse areas, including the most inhospitable environments on earth. The approximately 15,000 described species inhabit everything from lush forests to deserts to arctic tundra, exploiting resources wherever possible. Lichens … Continue reading

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Random Fungus: Stinkhorn

So far this summer we’ve been receiving abundant rainfall here in southeast Michigan, and as a result a wide variety of fungi have been bursting forth from the ground. One I found most interesting was this particular stinkhorn fungus (Phallales: … Continue reading

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Congaree National Park

Situated in the middle of South Carolina, Congaree National Park preserves the largest remaining old-growth hardwood floodplain forest left in the United States. Prior to European settlement some 52 million acres of these bottomland forests blanketed the southeast. While most were … Continue reading

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Cataloochee Valley

Straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves over 800 square miles of pristine southern Appalachian wilderness. Here misty valleys are nestled within the highest mountains in eastern North America, with sixteen peaks reaching … Continue reading

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Fungus-Insect Interaction: Pathogenic fungus emerging from a root-maggot fly

At first glance it looks like this root-maggot fly (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) was getting fat and happy filling itself with the sweet juices of this young blackgum tree (Nyssa sylvatica, Cornaceae). It was actually getting fat and unhappy as the unfortunate victim … Continue reading

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Indiana’s Knobstone Trail

At 58 miles in length, the Knobstone Trail is Indiana’s longest and most rugged hiking trail. I covered a few of those miles last weekend while my wife and I were in the area visiting her family. Following the edge of … Continue reading

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