Friday, April 06, 2012

Rainwater catchers

The construction crews at the church next door are finally gone, taking the last orange plastic webbing with them. I went over this afternoon to see what they'd done with the old gardens. This used to be one of our favourite evening walks, always offering something new; maybe it would be again, I hoped.

The children's garden is gone entirely. We will miss its intriguing mix of flowers, veggies, herbs and weeds. The perennials along the old wood fence have been kept, and they're weeded and cultivated, a welcome change. A landscaping company has installed an automatic watering system. One of the old maples is still there, the one that always turns a brilliant red in the fall, (Yay!) and new trees have been planted.  A small lilac is just sending out its spring leaves. A stripy jumping spider was chasing flies on the fence. All is well.

There are new areas, covered with a loose soil, dark brown and somewhat wood-chippy, not the local soil at all. Nothing seems to have been planted in them yet.

Soil carted in from elsewhere usually carries alien seeds. Or, in this case, spores. One large plot was full of cup fungus.

The largest are about three inches across.

Peziza, possibly badioconfusa, which appears in the spring and early summer.

The fungi produce spores on the inside of these cups. Raindrops splash them out onto the surrounding soil.

I found similar mushrooms in December of 2008, by a tumbledown barn along the Ladner Trunk road. (The last photo on that post.) I don't know if they were the same; there are several hundred species of these cup fungi.

CalPhoto has a photo of Peziza badia, which is easily confused with badioconfusa, but appears later in the year.

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