Monday, January 30, 2023

Fans, eggs, and a yellow ball

 At the edge of a little woodland, a recently-fallen dead branch came down with its crop of fungi.

One end of the branch.

Seen on this end: Rusty-Gilled polypore, keeping a lookout, two birds' nests full of "eggs", the beginnings of a liverwort, another birds' nest, empty, and that yellow thing, unidentified.

3 Rusty-Gilled polypore fans. Gloeophyllum saepiarium.

These are all tiny; the branch is little more than 3 cm. across at its widest point. The birds' nests are a fraction of that.

Birds' nests, yellow ball, and what is that poking out from under the bark beside it?

I can't identify that tiny, pinhead yellow ball with a white foot. The colour of orange jelly or witches butter, but so perfectly rounded, and a bit fuzzy looking.

UPDATE: I've been told that the yellow ball is an immature birds' nest, a younger version of the two above it.

Zooming in on a bird's nest. Looks like a bowl of beans in broth on a frilly placemat.

The "eggs" are spore cases, peridioles. When it rains, drops will splash them out to start new nests. One is already freed, to the left of the twisted nest.

Al borde de un bosquecito, una rama caída, ya muerta, trae su carga de una variedad de hongos.

Foto #1: Un extremo de la rama. Con un hongo poliporo "de agallas rojizas" que mantiene vigilancia sobre el camino, dos hongos nido llenos de "huevos", una hepática apenas empezada, otro nido de ave, pero sin huevos, y esa pelotita amarilla que no pude identificar. Todo esto muy pequeñito; la rama, a lo más, mide 3 cm. de diámetro.

Foto #2: Otros tres abanicos del poliporo, Gloeophyllum saepiarium.

Foto #3: Los hongos nido, la pelotita amarilla, y ¿qué será esa cosa que se asoma desde debajo de la corteza a la izquierda?

No puedo identificar esa pelota amarilla. Tiene el color de jalea anaranjada, Dacrymyces chrysospermus, o de mantequilla de brujas, Tremella mesenterica, pero tan perfectamente redonda, y con ese base blanco.

*Puesta al dia: Ahora me han dicho que la pelotita amarilla es uno de los mismos hongos nido, en su forma inmadura.

Foto #4: Un hongo nido en macro. Parece un plato de caldo con frijoles grandes, sobre un mantelito individual. Los "huevos" son sacos de esporas, llamados periodolos. Cuando llueve, gotas de lluvia botarán estos periodolos fuera del recipiente, listos para empezar nuevos nidos. Se ve uno, ya libre, al lado izquierdo del nido torcido.


  1. I hadn't ever heard of bird's nest fungi. I'm so glad you saw it and photographed it. You do see the coolest fungi there.

    1. They're tiny. Once you see one, though, you'll start seeing more. Look on old dead wood.


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