Fondness for Fungi
Our January “Walk and Talk” at Caw Caw Interpretive Center featured a “Fondness for Fungi” with Brad Jaynes, a NAI Certified Interpretive Guide, Master Naturalist, and Interpretive Specialist and Aide with CCPR, along with photographer Colin Hocking LRPS, and was sure to have garnered a greater gratitude for this often under-appreciated kingdom from its participants. Brad, who chose to study fungi because they are frequently disregarded, has documented almost 200 species of fungi at Caw Caw.
The group members were introduced to the original “world wide web” and the critical relationships that saprotrophic and parasitic fungi hold within nature as they explored the forest to seek out their various forms. Over the course of the presentation and walk the group was able to observe close to 20 species of fungi with a few being Tremetes versicolor “Turkey Tail,” Xylobolus subpileatus “Bacon of the Woods,” and Apioperdon pyrifome “Pear Shaped Puffball,” which was a favorite for the day.
Colin and Dave Eslinger provided the group with an introduction to macro photography and spoke to how using macro photography specifically is instrumental in studying and identifying fungi. Colin and Dave came on the walk to take photographs of the group's discoveries that illustrated that sometimes there is more to see than meets the eye with fungi when using macro photography.
A great example of this was shown with the Tremetes versicolor, “Turkey Tail” mushrooms, as their underside is porous but not that clearly to the naked eye. The use of macro photography allowed for such an extreme close up that the very small pores appeared as large, endless black holes across the surface of the mushroom.
The gathering ended with a new way to view the fantastic world of fungi with macro photography along with deeper appreciation and understanding of how important fungi are to the circle of life.
By Laura Bridgeman
Turkey Tail, Tremetes versicolor
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