We had some rain, then some warm days. As a result, the fungi is just a poppin’ in our woods! Dave and Anita came by and I convinced them to let me tag along for a photo shoot. I needed to spy on Dave to see how he gets such amazing shots. I always learn a lot when I go out on a walk with Dave. I even learned what I want for Christmas.
Mushrooms and other types of fungus have always been very difficult for me to photograph. The pictures just don’t come out very well. You are under the canopy of the trees and there just isn’t enough light. If I up the ISO, the pictures come out grainy. If I use the flash, the exposure just isn’t right. It’s so frustrating that I sometimes don’t even try for a shot, even though I think it could be interesting. Today, Dave gave me the courage to try, and while I threw out a lot of shots, I managed a few “keepers”. They’re still not as good as his… but I’ll get there! With practice!
We had a speaker at Audubon last Friday whose passion is mushrooms. Oh my, he presented a LOT of information on this group of organisms. I’m afraid my mind was drifting a bit to work-related issues, so I can’t say I learned all of what he presented. There were a couple of tidbits, though, that stick with me.
Maybe I sort of already knew this… but when he presented it, it made a lot of sense. There are basically three ways fungi can “make a living.” Some live off of dead stuff. Some live off of living stuff. Some form a symbiotic relationship with one or more other organisms. Can I think of examples of each type. No. It’s late at night and my mind is on overload.
The other tidbit is sort of funny. There are so many species of fungi that no one dares put an actual number to it. The ones that have names mostly have only latin names. There aren’t really any universally accepted common names. So when the author of the Audubon field guide to mushrooms and other fungi wrote his book, he just made stuff up. I wonder if his names will become the accepted names?
It could be fun to make up the names. Here’s an idea for your next blog post: Take a picture of something you don’t know the name of, and make up something. Why not? Or heck… I don’t know the names of anything posted here. You could make up names for these!
Getting back to the photography angle… I learned that what I want for Christmas (or my birthday – since that is closer) is a remote shutter release to reduce camera shake and a tripod. I think I could get sharper pictures of stuff on the shady forest floor if I could leave the shutter open longer… and I can only do that if I find a way to stabilize the camera more reliably than my hands can hold it!
There were many more kinds of fungus in the woods today than I have pictured here. It always astounds me when I see the diversity of life in this beautiful world!