Monday, November 07, 2016

Yellow tongues

Mushrooms are picky about where they decide to grow. On wood, for example, but not live wood; dead wood, but only deciduous dead wood; beech but not oak. One species grows only on old Douglas fir cones. Another, chosen at random out of the guide, grows on other mushrooms, but only certain species of Boletes.

So it pays to remember where, exactly, a new mushroom was growing, if I want to put a name to it.

In the shelter of a lone cedar in a bare field, a spreading juniper huddles. In the duff under its branches, I found these yellow-orange stalks.

Up to 2 inches tall. Possibly Orange Earth Tongues. And a springtail.

Cylindrical or slightly spoonlike.

If these are Orange Earth Tongues, the guide says they grow in sphagnum moss (none here) or on rotten logs (not here unless there's one buried under the duff) or on leaf litter (juniper leaves and dead grass stalks?)

The genus name, Microglossum, translates as “small tongue” while the species name, rufum, means reddish. (The Nature Niche)

Sometimes I wonder about the eyes of the people who give things their names. I don't see these as at all "reddish".

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