Friday, February 12, 2010

The beginning of spring

Okay, I admit it. I've been a bit obsessed with earth tongues lately. It was exciting to see Microglossum viride for the first time, and then to discover that hunting with my nose close to the ground yielded earth tongues in many more locations than I'd originally thought they'd be. Finding earth tongues is a bittersweet pleasure for me. I'm crazy about them and look forward to finding them every year but their appearance also tells me that, before long, there won't be any mushrooms to be found for many months.

Wildflowers have begun to bloom in earnest and today I noticed leaf buds swelling on a black oak. Many male songbirds are looking and sounding very dapper. I know that, in the coming months, there are going to be other interesting things to capture my interest and pique my curiosity. I might even be able to forget about fungi for a moment or two as I watch the wildflowers come and go, and the trees leaf out. A passing moth or butterfly might capture my attention and I'll enjoy spending time sketching and getting to know birds, ground squirrels and other creatures. I'll enjoy the warm weather and long days but there will be a part of me waiting. Waiting for the days to shorten and the rain to come and bring more mushrooms.

The earth tongues on the upper left are Trichoglossum hirsutum, easily identified by their hairy stipe and velvety pileus or cap. On the right are more of the Geoglossum sp. that I described here, recognizable by their sticky, viscid stipes or stems.


  1. You are tweaking my interest in earth tongues. I'm going to take a harder look next time I'm out.

    Our lichens and mosses are at their prime now. That is a whole different world.

    Keep posting!

  2. We're going to miss your fungi sketches and stories as well -- especially these odd ones to which I, for one, have just been introduced. Hope you'll find some other tiny perfect world to explore...

  3. There are too many interesting things out there! I love the mosses and lichens but never seem to get to them because of the fungi!

    Charlene, I'll do my best!