Вт. Май 21st, 2024

Oozing excess water

Today, I’m taking a break from posting images taken in Waterton Lakes National Park, and instead adding three photos taken yesterday (23 July 2015), closer to home. Five of us spent the day botanizing the land belonging to Darryl Teskey, SW of Calgary and SW of Millarville (maybe a 40-minute drive from the city). This was the first time I had been there and I’m so glad I went – I would have missed several fungi, including this and two other Red-belted polypore / Fomitopsis pinicola (?) and their beautiful guttation droplets. Thanks so much, Karel, for calling me over to look at these. Made my day!

 

“Some fungi are prone to exhibiting a curious phenomenon—they exude beads of moisture, called guttation. In several polypores, such as Fomitopsis pinicola, the liquid produced can look so much like tears that you’d swear the fungus was weeping. Or maybe sweating. Other species produce pigmented drops that can look like milk, or tar, or even blood.”

“Guttation, a term used in botany to describe the process by which plants excrete excess water through drops from their leaves. For some mushrooms this is so common that it is a reliable identification feature.”

Fortunately, the rain stayed away until we started driving back to Calgary. Quite a lot of black clouds, reminding me of the tornado that passed through Calgary (including my community that was in its path) just the day before (22 July 2015).

Our walk took us over grassland and through forest, everywhere treacherous with so many fallen logs which were often barely visible. I have never, ever seen so many tiny Skipper butterflies – there must have been hundreds or even thousands of these bright orange beauties that were flying or perched on flowers of every colour. Our purpose, as always, was to find and list everything that we saw – wildflowers, trees, grasses, birds, insects, fungi, etc.. Our leader then compiles an extensive list of all our finds and this is later sent to the landowner, along with any photos that we might take. Always a win/win situation, as the landowner then has a much better idea of just what is on his property – and we have a most enjoyable day. This summer, with so many botanizing outings like this, plus two 3-day trips to Waterton Lakes National Park, I am so behind with the photos that I need to edit and e-mail!