Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mushroom Update!

Since posting our "Mushrooms in the City" episode back in June, the weather in New York has turned hot and muggy and occasionally, wet. It's gross for most humans. But for mushrooms, it's heaven! Now more than ever you are sure to find fungi all around you when you put your "mushroom eyes" on. Like these, which Ada discovered a couple of weeks ago, about 50 miles north of the city:

They're bird's nest fungi. And one of the things that's so cool about them is that they really do look like teeny, tiny bird's nests! When they first spring out of the ground, they're covered and closed up. (They remind me of bowls full of custard, or some unusual kind of acorn.) As they mature (get older), they open up to reveal their "eggs." These eggs are really packets of spores. And they're waiting for raindrops to hit them and catapult them into the air (according to our favorite mushroom book). They can be propelled as far as 1 yard (that's 3 feet). Then they lie on the ground, waiting to disintegrate, which is when their spores are dispersed, or spread.

Have you seen any mushrooms on your travels this summer? Write in and let us know about them!

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