“A tree’s most important means of staying connected to other trees is a ‘wood wide web’ of soil fungi that connects vegetation in an intimate network that allows the sharing of an enormous amount of information and goods.” ― Tim Flannery
This week’s photo challenge is hosted by guest Sofia Alves. Her prompt encourages us to Look Up and/or Look Down. In my photo library, I find fungus and mushrooms in Nature at many levels, high in the trees and underfoot. I recently watched the documentary Fantastic Fungi and was absolutely blown away by the intricacy and importance of mycelial networks and the beauty of a mushroom’s growth over time. I absolutely recommend it for the photography and the ecological information. Autumn is the perfect season for mushroom spotting. I invite you to take a look at the variety of color, shape, and size in the mushrooms I’ve showcased here, and then go out and see what’s growing in your neck of the woods!
“Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.” – Thomas Carlyle
“If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life: worms, fungi, microorganisms of all kinds … Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for very long.” – Wendell Berry
The forests of Wisconsin are layered. Up in the canopy, the broad leaves of maples, oaks, hickories, lindens and elms filter out the sun. Down on the forest floor, amid the fallen trunks and branches of those hardwood sentinels, nestled in the needles of firs and pines and alongside the fronds of ferns, you can find a world of fungi hard at work converting biomass to soil. This is the understory, a very earthy layer – it’s at ground zero and grass roots, and it’s beautiful, colorful and diverse.