December 21, 2020
Happy winter solstice, team!
Today’s mushroom is Tremella mesenterica, or witch’s butter. Quite a fun common name. This jelly fungus was found on 11/12/2020 in the landscape north of the gill cascade. It’s found on six continents with Antartica being the lone exemption. It appears to fruit year-round but predominantly in the spring. An interesting fact about this fungus is that it is not saprobic (it does not get its nutrients from wood) but is instead parasitic to the mycelium of a crust fungus. You can usually find that crust fungus growing on the same stick, but I didn’t check because I was unaware of this neat caveat at the time. I’ve attached the pictures because I’m not comfortable with the in-line picture technology.
Also, try to check out the conjunction tonight. It’ll be low in the western sky shortly after sunset: https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/great-jupiter-saturn-conjunction-dec-21-2020
Happy solstice again,
PS. Last week I confused Exidia nigricans with the dehydrated form of Exidia crenata. You can go back and view the image if you’re curious. They were two different species!