There were a couple of neat finds yesterday. This is the most showy.
It's hard to miss this bright spot in a woods that has turned brown and gray. This is Cinnabar, or Red-orange Polypore. Scientific name, Pycnoporus cinnabarinus. There are three other species in the genus, but they are tropical, so in the northern US, you are pretty safe to ID this one.
It will grow on most any rotting wood. In this case, it's on cherry.
If you know a little Greek, the name is pretty easy. Pycno= dense, The pores are very small. Porus= porous (duh). If you look at the underside of any (ok, almost any) polypore, there are pores, not gills, like many mushrooms have. Cinnabar= deep red or red-orange. This comes from the name of the ore of mercury which is this orange to brick-red color.
Want to see those dense pores? Look at the size relative to the fine knit of my gloves.
OK, that's the nature lesson for today. The current patience lesson at our house is that we have no water, and can't get the part for the pump until Monday. Sigh.
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