Of tree fungi and white saplings

As mentioned in Sunday’s post, the primary photographic goal of that day’s expedition centered on a patch of tree fungi I had located on a prior walk through a densely wooded area of the White Rock native prairie near Van Dyke and Classen streets.

Just after being diverted by the stump, I found myself diverted all over again by the patterning on display in this clear plastic bag full of yard clippings. Are those, like, palm fronds in there?

In the bag

(I don’t know, but I do know my wife Anne would not approve – she is against bagging or trashing any sort of vegetable matter, preferring to compost it or, in some cases, spread it directly on our lawn. Don’t get me started.)

Fortunately, both the stump and the bagged foliage resided just at the fringe of the habitated part of the neighborhood, and from there I was able to proceed without further distraction to the woods.

Stranger in an otherwise native land

Well, not quite without distraction. This iris was one of a stand of half a dozen that had somehow found their way onto the native prairie – their bulbs perhaps transported there by squirrels, or perhaps planted by city dwellers with good intentions but a bad sense of native plant-ery.

At last, I made it to the trees – and after a bit of bushwhacking that resulted in a ripped shirt and torn skin (damned prickly vines!) I positioned myself within lensing distance of the tree fungi.


These shelf-like organisms are referred to by fungi specialists as “conks,” and they are reportedly not very good for their host trees, stealing away nutrients and that sort of thing. I’m sorry for the trees, but frankly quite enamored of the bizarre and colorful display that results.  They look somewhat like crashed flying saucers, don’t they?

Sap suckers

Anyway,  enough with the verbiage – scan further for more of the forest fungi (including a couple of strikingly different varieties), along with a peculiar tableaux I came across starring a tilted white sapling.

Merlin's cap

Tooth fungus, according to my possibly unreliable sources



Forest floor

Quadrilateral symmetry

Decline of the white sapling


5 thoughts on “Of tree fungi and white saplings

    • hellenjc, thanks! I thought about using that last b&w as a post by itself, but it sort of fit into the overall story here so I left it in.

    • Fungi can indeed be fun, tommiaw, as long as they’re attached to something else than the photographer. ;<)

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