an old friend

I've got a woodpile in the back corner of my yard, and it's been there for several years. It's made of logs that were meant to be turned into firewood, but the wood turned out to be too tough to split for my liking, so it just sat. That was five years ago I believe, and this wood is only good for one thing now: fungus!

Each year when the weather is cool and things stay damp for a while, this orange fungus blooms. I love taking photos of mushrooms and other fungi, so I can't resist photographing this one whenever it appears. Appear it will too, as it's as reliable as an old friend.


I know that many species of fungus are quite particular about their growing conditions, and will be found only on certain types of wood, or a single species of trees. This one appears to like Elm wood.

What I like most about this orange jelly fungus is the way it seems to be squeezing out of the cracks in the wood:

I've just read that some species of orange jelly fungus are edible. I'm not feeling overly hungry, so I'll just stick to taking photographs today.

(It could be Dacryopinax spathularia or maybe Dacrymyces palmatus, or even Tremella mesenterica.)

There are other organisms working on turning these log sections into soil amendments for me:

There's quite a bit of rot on some of these. I may see if I can break some of these up and get them into contact with the soil in the "wild" strip behind my yard.

Insects hard at work too:

Although when taking the panoramic shots of my yard from the roof recently I thought "wow, I really need to get rid of that ugly wood pile this year", seeing the logs up close again makes me hesitate (again). I may just relocate it to a less-visible spot.

I think I'd miss my old friend the jelly fungus.


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Lisa  – (December 17, 2012 at 8:12 AM)  

The world is a fascinating place, most especially up close!

outlawgardener  – (December 17, 2012 at 8:38 AM)  

You have the most interesting friends. Orange fungus during this grey time of the year looks very cheerful!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (December 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM)  

I've never seen this particular fungus before. But we don't have a woodpile :-).

Chad B  – (December 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM)  

Alan - although you'd lose your photo ops with your orange friends, if you're looking for a way to use those logs to amend the soil in your yard, you could consider hugelkultur.

Alan  – (December 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM)  

Chad: I'll give it a try! I don't know how much space I have for it, but I'll see what I can do. Thanks!

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