My love of the outdoors and camping has always provided me with opportunities for experiencing and exploring nature, but only in recent years have I developed a fascination for the details of fungi and their intriguing lives.
What are fungi?
The 'mushroom' or 'toadstool' that we see in the field, garden or natural environment is referred to as the fruiting body, and is only a small portion of the fungus.
The main, and mostly unseen part of the fungus, is made up of microscopic threads (called hyphae), which weave their way through the soil, wood or other dead or living organisms. A mass of hyphae is called a mycelium.
It is these unseen creeping microscopic threads that are the earth's main recycling agents, decomposing dead plant material and returning nutrients to the soil. When conditions are favourable, a mycelium may send out a reproductive organ, which is the fungus fruiting body that we see and admire.
The kingdom of fungi
Fungi do not belong to the kingdom of plants. They have a kingdom of their own. Unlike plants, fungi do not possess chlorophyll, therefore they are not dependent upon sunlight. They do not produce their own food, so are either scavengers or parisites absorbing nourishment from the substrate.
Upon maturity of the fruiting body, fungus spores are released and dispersed by the wind, water, animals, people or other means, providing the fungus with an opportunity to spread and start new colonies.
Navigating my blog
I have linked several internet sites on the right-hand column of my blog home page for detailed fungi reading. Also on the right-hand column, I will list fungus blog entries by colour, for quick searching. Below that, I have divided fungus entries into loose groups.
If readers have any other suggestions for easier navigation or appropriate presentation, I will welcome ideas.
I am not a mycologist, but rather, an enthusiastic amateur. I do not have expertise or specialised equipment for studying fungi, therefore my identifications are often not confirmed. If readers think I have made a mistake, please let me know.
I hope, in time, this blog will form a useful reference for others interested in fungi.