Friday, February 5, 2010
Geoglossums on February 2, has been to find earth tongues. I first found earth tongues on a trail at Howarth Park several years ago and have seen them in the same area each year since. It never occurred to me to look for them in other places, although I did stumble upon a group along another trail a few years back. Since I began to actively seek them out I've discovered that the earth has many tongues and they're sticking out everywhere. The only thing that makes them seem rare is that they're very hard to find, even if you're looking for them. Yesterday my eyes were feeling the strain after spending two hours peering at the ground watching for tiny black protrusions. These fungi blend into their surroundings very well. Once I became more proficient at spotting them I found them everywhere. Most that I've found are in small groups or solitary, unlike the first group that I discovered, which fruits prolifically along the trail for several yards. While on my mission I had the great good fortune to find a small patch of an earth tongue I've seen pictures of but never seen in real life. While admiring a patch of Trichoglossum hirsutum, I spotted a differently shaped green protrusion nearby. I inched in for a closer look and was delighted to discover several Microglossum viride, in two shades of green that made them blend into their surroundings so well that, when I looked away for a moment, I had difficulty finding them again. I made a quick sketch to capture the color and, after determining that there were plenty left behind, I brought one home with me to paint and went back today to do a complete sketch.