Surrounded by Rocks: An Exploration Series, Chapter 7

Here is Nightjar with the next chapter in her series.

Chapter 7 – West Hill: Going Up

We are now at the southern base of the West Hill and the entrance looks inviting. We are in a totally different environment, the soils here are obviously more fertile and can sustain denser vegetation. Let’s go up.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Mushroom Hunting – Part 2

Yesterday we saw Part 1 of Nightjar’s quest to find mushrooms as a Tree Tuesday post. Today, the mushrooms have been found and Nightjar’s photos of them are so wonderfully evocative that I can almost smell that earthy forest scent.

... and here are the mushrooms! The yellow Tricholoma equestre were the ones we were searching for, and we did find enough for a meal. And then there were some pretty ones of unknown edibility (to us). There were more, but the mosquitoes make photography a very difficult task.

Thanks for braving the mosquitoes to get these photos, Nightjar, and thanks for sharing.

 

1. A mushroom-promising sight. © Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Tree Tuesday

Sent in by Nightjar, our trees this week tell a cautionary tale about the effects of climate change.

Mushroom Hunting Part 1...We went mushroom hunting last weekend and I decided to share some photos. I split them in two parts. The first doesn’t show mushrooms but rather our journey to find them. I knew that the wildfires last year had affected this area, but wasn’t sure if our favourite spot had burned or not. It did. I say green isn’t always hope because that green in the third photo is mostly acacias (Acacia longifolia) taking over the place. The future of these historical pine forests doesn’t look bright. We turned around and drove a bit south until we found a patch of forest that escaped the fires and didn’t look as dry and sterile. That’s when the mosquitoes attacked me, but there was also a lovely damselfly to make up for it.

Mushroom Hunting Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and it’s chock full of interesting photos of fungi found in the forest. Be sure to check it out. Thanks, Nightjar.

1. The road that no longer leads to mushrooms, ©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Tree Tuesday

This week we have a story tree from Nightjar and it’s a wonderful story of hope.

I was driving through an area that was badly affected by wildfires last year and stopped the car to quickly take this shot, because it shows the concept of “fire-adapted species” so well. Everything still looks horribly devastated. In the foreground there is a completely destroyed orchard, in the background a completely destroyed pine plantation. Trees are still standing, but they are dead. Except… there is a survivor! The cork oak tree is resprouting all over and will regenerate soon! That’s what cork is for, to insulate the trunk from high temperatures protecting its core during a fire. It’s one thing to know this in theory, but to see the advantage of this strategy so clearly was quite enlightening.

Cork tree, ©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Thanks so much for sharing, Nightjar. I think it’s amazing that any living thing can survive a forest fire. Nature is so endlessly fascinating.

Ruheforst Mushrooms – part 5

Today we have the last of Avalus’ photos from the natural burial forest, ending fittingly with a view of the forest itself. These burial forests are not only natural, but also safe and life sustaining. They’re one of nature’s best ways of recycling and there’s a growing demand for this type of burial option. One of the other big benefits of natural burial is that it is much more cost effective than the traditional care offered by the funeral industry of today.

My thanks to Avalus for his wonderful tour. I’ve enjoyed walking through the forest with him and seeing the myriad of fungi that grow here.

A “Hexen-Röhrling” (lit: witches-boletes), probably a Rubroboletus rubrosanguineus. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

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Ruheforst Mushrooms – part 3

It’s another interesting mix of fungi photographed by Avalus in a natural burial cemetery.

It’s hard work pushing up. A still deadly false death cap pushing up. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

It’s the real Sluglife! Note the dry, dead mosses. They were like that in all the forest.

Proudly presented!©Avalus, all rights reserved

Iggi Pilz, a pun on Igelpilz (hedgehog shroom) and Iggy Pop. Don’t know why. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

You have a good eye, Avalus. So many different types of mushrooms! I’ll be sure to check back tomorrow to see what else you found.

 

Ruheforst Mushrooms, part 2

A few more of the mushroom specimens snapped by Avalus at the natural burial forest.

Everything was totally dry and this one excreted water. I was (and still am) very puzzled. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Tiny guys squeezing between the bark and the wood. I was fascinated. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Just a group of sulfurshrooms with a green sheen. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Thanks Avalus. I really like the different perspectives that you’ve used. Each one seems perfectly suited to its subject. Check back tomorrow for the next installment of ‘shrooms.

Ruheforst Mushrooms

From Avalus, information about a growing trend and a warning about climate change.

Maybe a bit macabre, so a foreword.

 Graveyards, Mushrooms and climate change, perhaps.

 In Germany there is a growing trend to be buried in a “Ruheforst”, (resting or still forest) instead of a usual graveyard. There your cremated remains get buried in a bio-degradable urn next to a tree of your choosing. There are no graves, no large markerstones, just an open, tended-to forest with many small paths and plaques on some trees. Some persons I know rest in such a place in the palatinate forest near the town Bad Dürkheim, so our family visits them every so often. Now to the bit macabre bit: It’s also a prime mushroom hunting place with usually plenty of different bolete species and other edibles. One of my grandmothers is sure, the ‘shrooms are nourished by the dead and refuses to eat any. I think they are so plentiful because by opening the forest, the trees left standing are getting more light and nutrients and so can give more of these nutrients to their mushroom-symbionts.

This year however, there were hardly any mushrooms of any kind there. The ground was very dry and most of the threes had small leaves. Instead, signs warning of forest fires were a common sight.

I did not pick up any of the edible ‘shrooms I found, but only took photos.

I have no idea, but I admired its roundness. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

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