For several years in a row, the naturalists at Audubon have challenged themselves to create a new themed exhibit each year. The entire building is transformed to interpret topics under a common theme. Raptors, mammals, wetlands, insects,… With each exhibit, we create new educational programs, which forces us to be learning all the time. And the theme focuses our learning. I read so many books on mammals during the mammal exhibit… looked at so many skulls and pelts, learned so many tracks and signs… You get the idea.
Our current theme is Biodiversity. We’ve kept it local. With our displays, we show visitors the tremendous diversity of species that you can find right here in Western New York. So… my mind is primed to look for diversity. And if you’ve been reading this blog, you know my current fascination is fungi… Specifically species that show up in Winter.
Sarah and I walked the trails yesterday to see how bad the flooding was. (It’s significant… if you want to go for a walk along ANY of our loop trails, wear your highest waterproof boots.) Along the way, we found a branch that had recently fallen from a tree. Just one little branch… And look what was on it:
And those are just the fungi that had fruiting bodies on the outside… Who knows what other mycelia were hidden inside the wood. And, I suppose one day I’ll have to take up an obsession with lichens…