Mycelia

Spend the day with a gaggle of Mycologists and the perspective shifts immensely. Van Cortlandt Park is still crunchy underfoot with an icy snow cover and the crew assured me we wouldn’t find any large specimen and therefore shift our focus to fungi which don’t quite fit the mold. We found lots of shelf-like mushrooms hanging off the side of logs and then those that spread across the surface of rotten twigs. We couldn’t have trudged through the woods more than three city blocks yet uncovered hundreds of oddly shaped colorful spongy life forms. Together we would walk perhaps no more than twenty paces before fanning out and then re-congregating with our finds stuck to pieces of bark or on twigs, each ushering the rattling off of a different latin incantation establishing their particular genus. Identifying characteristics such as whether they had spikes or pores, were hard like wood or soft like jelly, what colors they sported – sometimes determined by dousing them with a few drops of ammonia, sat on a shelf or had a stem – the latter which inspired much excitement in the group this early in the season. All in all with so little distance covered, the scale of having experienced this macro world for a few hours on this brisk sunny day established a serene sense of being quite apart from the rush and bustle of a hurried world.




A newly identified species around these parts.
A newly identified species around these parts.