Tag Archives: fungus

“Indian Pipe” – Monotropa uniflora

“Indian Pipe” - Monotropa uniflora

“Sometimes all you need in your life is anything strange because strange things can revive your soul just like a cold water freshening your pale face with every splash!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

I thought I had missed them. A week ago, as I was hiking a local conservation area, I came across a patch of Indian Pipes, a very strange plant and a bit of a rarity around here. Alas, they were past their prime and already turning black. Not photo worthy.

Earlier today, as I made a brief foray into a local forest, I was surprised to find numerous clusters of Indian Pipe still in great condition. I was even more surprised to find them in bloom. Honestly, I did not know they bloomed, as I have never seen them at this stage and in such fine condition. I made several images in the highly variable light of the pine forest and this was the best of the series. Generally, the heads of the Indian Pipe are nodding, thus the name: Monotropa, from Greek monos, meaning “one” and tropos, meaning “turn”. I was also surprised by the pink colouration, as these plants lack chlorophyll, which is what gives plants their green colour. These odd plants get their nutrients through a mycorrhizal relationship with a fungus, which in turn gets its nutrients for local trees. It’s this complex relationship that has led to the Indian Pipes lack of chlorophyll, they don’t need it.

As I said, there were many clusters of this usually rare plant to be found, likely brought on by the warm, wet summer we have had. Usually, I have to look hard to find even a single plant, at the right time of year. Fortunately, I had my macro lense and tripod with me, so I was able to collect a nice sharp image, with good depth of field.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/6 sec, f/22.0, ISO 100

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“Fungal Fingers”

“Fungal Fingers”

“This might be the most important question for every creator and maker in the world: how do you make something new if most people just like what they know? Is it possible to surprise with familiarity?”
― Derek Thompson

With a gradual warming and ample moisture, fungi are now beginning to emerge from cracks and crevices in rotting logs. I’m not skilled at early fungus identification, but I imagine these ‘fingers’ will soon develop into a more recognizable form.

They are also very good at concealing their presence. Even though my eyes are always scanning for something unique, it was not till I noticed this small grouping that I realized that there were hundreds of similar colonies growing close by.

Most looked simply like slender, fleshy fingers, this larger group seems to be a bit more advanced. I’ll have to keep an eye on them and see what develops.

I also found this an interesting composition, showing the developing fungus with a splash of colour from the adjacent mosses.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/8 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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“Birch”

"Birch"

“I loved sitting on the pile of freshly cut logs, running my hands over the different shapes and smelling their woody fragrance. To this day I think that there is nothing as interesting to look at as a heap of newly cut logs, the delicate colouring of their veined insides telling their life story, while they wait to bring warmth and comfort.”
― Alice Taylor

A very simple title for a simple composition that caught my attention during a brief hike this week. There is something about the white birch bark and the orange leaves and cedar that make this “pop” for me. It was one of those images that I liked straight from the viewfinder and the composition was relatively simple, yet appealing.

Given the abundance of fungus on these logs, I don’t believe they would be appropriate for firewood, they simply make a nice photo.

Sadly, I’m also envisioning this image with a light dusting of snow, which we had last night. Fall is moving all too quickly to the inevitable winter, which does have its own beauty.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

High resolution image can be viewed on 500px

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“Red Belt Fungus” – Hermon, Ontario

“Red Belt Fungus” - Hermon, Ontario

Wow, I wonder who came up with this brilliant name?

I came across this rather bright fungus during a recent hunting trip. Well, it was more like walking through the woods with a gun, and a camera. It was certainly not an ideal hunting day, but the subdued light and wet conditions (it had rained for 3 days straight) were ideal for photography. I had my 70-200 f/2.8 with me to make up for the dark conditions in the forest. With this lense I can shoot down to 1/8 second handheld because of the excellent VR. That saves carrying a tripod everywhere, like I used to do.

This photo was made on a wood lot just outside Hermon, Ontario, in the Bancroft area. It’s a beautifully diverse forest with wonderful ancient stands of red pine, cedar, and maple, bisected by steep rocky ridges so typical of the Canadian Shield.

It was hard not to stop and photograph this wonderfully colourful fungus which just glistened in the rain. I was tempted to move the branch lying across the stump, but it adds to the composition, I think.

There is something about mushrooms and fungus that is inexplicably appealing to me, as well as several other photographers I know. They (the mushrooms and fungus) are very diverse in their colour and texture and only last for a short period, so that may be it.

Yet again, this is one of those natural compositions I see on a daily basis and like to share. I hope you enjoy it.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135mm
1/30 sec @ f/2.8-.33, ISO 250

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