|This branch blew down in our recent winds--I knew the woodpeckers had been active, but I didn't realize HOW active till I was able to see this up close...and lots of ear fungus along the branch, too.|
Wood ear, tree ear, jelly ear--whatever you call this dark brown fungus, it apparently grows
almost worldwide, and is considered edible, in some areas. (It's an ingredient in traditional moo shu pork.) I'm big on wild foods--even wrote a cookbook about it when dinosaurs roamed the earth--but I have to admit these have never made it to my dinner plate. They're kind of cold and clammy and just not that appetizing...anyone tried 'em?
And I couldn't resist sketching the bittersweet that came down from the highest branches at the same time...my mom used to love these bits of natural beauty, and I must have inherited it from her. My usual source of bittersweet is gone now; the fencerow where it grew every year has been bulldozed away, so I was delighted by this gift of the wind.
The birds have been enjoying the berries, as well...only one left on this little sprig!