Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Big Trees, Fungi and Elves

As well as the early wildflowers we saw on our walk Sunday, we saw a lot of big trees, and several interesting bracket fungi.  Indeed we enjoy this section of the trail partly because of the big old trees along it.  And we discovered that several among them provide ideal elf habitat!

This is just one of my favourite tree clumps.  Not huge individually, but 7 beech trunks all growing from the same rootstock, right beside the trail.  Beech is one of the beautiful big trees around here, but unfortunately we're losing them to the Beech Scale disease.

I was really impressed by how obvious the buttress roots were at this time of year.  While the trunk might have been 2.5 feet thick, the roots on this tree spread out in a wide circle of at least 6 feet.

Here's another maple with wide buttressing roots, obviously the home of an elf.  In fact this opening is probably large enough for an elf apartment!  We learned a lot about elves when visiting Iceland a while ago, and now keep an eye out for their homes when we're wandering the countryside.

Two of the smaller elf dwellings we encountered....

A standard bracket fungus on a big old beech stump, but a very large one.

And a hoof fungus on another beech.  This fungus is used to make a tinder for fire-starting.  The 5000 year old Ice-Man found in the Alps some years ago had some in his pack, so it's also known as tinder fungus or Ice-Man fungus.

Another interesting bracket fungus, though I don't know the name.  Tomorrow - the waterfall.

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16 comments:

  1. I love big old trees but never thought about Elf houses before. :) You found some great ones and some great fungi too. I did a post about fungi on a tree stump at our neighbours (it has about 8) a while ago. They are a sign of weakness and disease in a tree and that the tree is dying. The maple stump/tree came down in a big storm and was rotten inside. The hoof fungus are really neat and I didn't know they are good for starting fires. Good to know if your lost in the woods and have matches or a lighter. :)

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  2. You bring the woods to us! Beautiful shots.

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  3. Love your first shot! Always lots of interesting things to see in the woods.

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  4. Great pictures of those soaring trees !

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  5. Always a pleasure to walk in the company of trees.

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  6. I discovered this week that the city finally took down a really dangerous old tree in the cemetery that was covered with fungus. They are very interesting, but this one, because of the location, was scary! Good elf hunting.

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  7. These are absolutely stunning. I love woods that life on life on life displayed in every turn.

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  8. These are great shots! I always love seeing and photographing trees. What, you didn't see any Elves??

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  9. fancy fungi and i LOVE the perspective and gorgeous blue sky in the first image!!

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  10. I like your first photo, but the bracket fungus is fascinating.

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  11. I love pictures looking up at the sky through the branches of trees.

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  12. I didn't know about the hoof fungus...but I have filed it in my brain for something to share with the Grands:)

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  13. Make longwood a priority next time. Big, bountiful, beautiful trees......and the flowers will take your breath away!!

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  14. You found some great things on this stroll! Talking about elves reminds me of all the talk of trolls we heard when we were in Norway last year. Fun stuff!!

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