Sunday, December 07, 2008

ice fungus


at almost the same time of year last year, and under similar very frosty conditions, we found these peculiar looking excrescences on dead twigs and branches in the woods (see link for more pictures). It puzzled me at the time that I could not find anything remotely similar in the (many) reference books in Spot's library when it was so very distinctive. After much searching, we have found a similar picture on Google images, at the University of British Columbia botanical forum (link). There it is suggested that this is in fact ice, not a fungus at all. This is certainly consistent with its sporadic nature in cold weather, and it looks just like wispy snow. Can this be true? If so, finding it out is yet another demonstration of the phenomenal information power of the internet, and Google in particular.

3 comments:

Tara said...

Amazing (of course, I checked out the link!).....could this phenom be a result of the fact (?) Cornwall and BC appear to be on the same parallel line? Spot, please ask David about this! This never occurs here on Long Island, very interesting! We did have snow flurries today, promptly melting...

:0)
Tara

spot said...

David can't find it either. We plan another trip on a cold morning to see if it melts away, and tastes of water. Being natural mycophobes none of us dared taste it before.

Vancouver Island, BC is very like Cornwall (and even more like the Isle of Wight). Many years ago (36 years B.S.)I spent a very happy year working in BC, and especially remember sitting by Lake Okanagan, listening to the first men land on the moon.

Tara said...

Hmmm, they are similar! Can't wait to see if your outing decifers the mystery (but not very brave of David to have you taste, eh?)
:0)
Tara