hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sigh: the Ups and Downs of Trees, Again

A really gorgeous fungi in our woods this morning: about 12 inches across and stacked another 16 inches high.  I've seen it one other year, but it's not reliably here every year.  Called 'chicken of the woods' or 'crab of the woods.'  Can be cooked in any way chicken can be, although, according to Wikipedia:

"In some cases eating the mushroom "causes mild reactions . . . for example, swollen lips" or in rare cases "nausea, vomiting, dizziness and disorientation" to those who are sensitive.[4] This is believed to be due to a number of factors that range from very bad allergies to the mushroom's protein, to toxins absorbed by the mushroom from the wood it grows on (for example, eucalyptus or cedar or yew) to simply eating specimens that have decayed past their prime. As such, many field guides request that those who eat Laetiporus exercise caution by only eating fresh, young brackets and begin with small quantities to see how well it sits in their stomach."

Well, maybe we'll pass on the kitchen use.   What it reliably appears to be is a cause of trees falling.  So adds Wikipedia:

 " From late spring to early autumn, the sulphur shelf thrives, making it a boon to mushroom hunters and a bane to those concerned about the health of their trees. This fungus causes a brown cubical rot and embrittlement which in later stages ends in the collapse of the host tree, as it can no longer flex and bend in the wind."  

Entropy strikes again.

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