February 9, 2008

The Fungus Among Us

I go hiking every chance I get, "hike" being defined as a day trip to a wooded area where I spend several hours tromping about and exploring. There's always something new to discover, especially if you look closely:
Isn't it gorgeous? It's a chicken of the woods mushroom, Laetiporus sulphureus, a real stunner that grows on hardwoods, often conveniently about at eye level. They are edible, as the name suggests, although I've never tried them. They get quite large, and change in color and appearance from day to day as they mature. I'm fascinated by them and have taken dozens of pictures of various specimens. I'm planning a large quilt at some point, but in the meantime have made this small one:
Here's a closeup of "Chicken of the Woods":

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