I was wandering through my garden camera in hand yesterday and came across something unexpected.
|This stump came with the garden|
Do you see it? Take a closer look at the base of the stump.
The growths are clearly fungus of some sort associated with the tree stump's decay, which is well advanced. I looked online for clues to its identification, not even sure than both growths were the same variety of fungus. My best guess is that the first growth, and possibly both, are what's known as chicken of the woods fungus, or Laetiporus. There are at least 18 known species and these fungal growths are still developing so my identification isn't definitive. It isn't showing the shelf-like structure characteristic of these fungi but then it's only just appeared. The fungus is commonly found on decaying hardwood trees and it's said to taste a lot like chicken. Chicken of the woods is reportedly sold to chefs and restaurants for $12-25 per pound. Recipes using it are available online. (You can find one here.) I did not taste it and have no intention of doing so. There are warnings online about eating any such mushrooms found growing on conifers, eucalyptus and cedar trees due to toxins they absorb and I think there's a good chance this stump, which was already decaying when we moved in nearly ten years ago, was that of a eucalyptus tree.
Chicken of the woods isn't nearly as attractive as turkey-tail mushrooms but at least it's not as ugly as the dog vomit slime mold I showed on a few weeks ago. However, even dog vomit slime mold is far more more attractive than the behavior displayed by the current occupant of our White House last night. Even if you can forgive the uncaring and irresponsible behavior he's displayed in handling the US response to the pandemic, forget that his administration is seeking to dismantle a health care system during that pandemic without any alternative proposal, ignore his manipulation of the country's tax code, dismiss his supporters' insistence on pushing through a Supreme Court candidate through the nomination process in contravention of the rules the Senate accepted in 2016, turn a deaf ear to his statements about those who serve in the military, and disregard his refusal to accept the country's unbroken respect for the peaceful transition of power, can anyone really excuse the disgraceful behavior he displayed last night, which included among other things, support for white supremacy? I've never been so depressed and sickened by an American politician in my life - and make no mistake, despite his assertion that he's not a politician, that's the role he's playing now inside his delusion that he's starring in a reality TV show.
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All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party