Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looking for earth tongues

Every year, at about this time, I find earth tongues, quaint, tiny fungi that look like...well...tongues sticking out of the earth. This year I accidentally noticed that they were fruiting in a location other than the one I normally found them in. Which got me to wondering how common they really are. So, for about two weeks, I walked slow as a snail with my nose to the ground, looking for earth tongues. They are, indeed, quite common in some of the wooded areas, at least at Howarth Park. Aside from the two species I usually find, I got my first glimpse of a gorgeous green species when I found a few fruiting with some of the more familiar black ones. The drawing above is of Geoglossum sp. Without microscopic work, it's difficult to identify the Geoglossums to species.

One day I was admiring a Geoglossum that I found in a new location when I noticed a stick covered with little cup fungi, which are even harder to find (in my experience) than earth tongues. The largest one was only 9mm across. These cups are most likely Plectania sp. and, as you may have already guessed, fruit on wood.

Here's a link to a more detailed article about earth tongues.

1 comment:

  1. These are fascinating Debbie! It's amazing what one will find by just looking. That's the great thing about sketching in nature - it opens a whole world of new discoveries!


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.