Image #152 – Opportunity!

On Friday we had some tree removal work done at Fawn Hill. There were two really bad problems–an 80 foot Poplar that was rotted at the base and hollow for about six feet up, and some limbs on a Black Oak that had died and were hanging precipitously over the house.  One piece of the Oak had already broken lose and, like a spear, pierced the roof.

The crew was here early and it was a good thing because by midday the rains had come in and the crew headed out, leaving massive quantities of lumber staged in my backyard and driveway, Image 152(1)awaiting the chipper that may arrive on Monday, weather permitting.

Saturday dawned mild and sunny. When I looked at the pile of tree debris in my backyard I thought of one thing–opportunity!  It’s not often that the opportunity to study macro-environments at 80 feet up falls into your lap. Normally you need to strap on a lot of climbing equipment and be strong enough to claw your way up a tree with your heels.  I have neither the equipment, strength or, for that matter, the interest to even try.  Another opportunity to accomplish this goal is to visit a few places, like Myakka River State Park, where there is a tree canopy walk and you can leisurely study the flora aloft.   In my case, on Saturday, I simply needed to walk out my front door.

I spent some time studying the downed pieces. There were many things of interest. Lots of lichen…or moss…not sure which. But the limbs from the Black Oak gave me something I could identify, another addition to the growing list of mushrooms I have become acquainted with here in North Carolina. In this case it is the Crowded Parchment (Stereum complicatum).  They are the orange fungi you see on the branches at the bottom of this first picture.

But here is a much better and closer picture.

Image #152 (2)

I had studied the dead limbs of the Black Oak with some interest before the arborists arrived but I can’t recall seeing the fungi. No doubt it was on the sunny side of the branch which was some 60 or more feet in the air.  Having photographed and identified it I then learned, via the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, that the habitat for this fungi is  “On dead deciduous twigs and stumps, especially oak.”   Seems the arborist made a good cut.  ❧

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