“Still Life with Fungus & Poison Ivy”


I know, these pictures look like a nature walk with the Addams Family.  I’m enjoying the fresh new foliage and spring flowers as much as anyone, really, but on a recent hike, it was the tree fungi that caught my eye.

Doesn’t the 2nd shot looks like Pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake)?

I also wondered about the minimalist spider web in the 3rd shot.  I once saw photos of spiderwebs, after the spiders had been given various drugs (OK, I guess it’s occurred to all of us to do that).  The caffeine web was jazzy, random, frenetic-looking.  The LSD web, as I remember, was unnaturally perfect.

Apparently nibbling on this fungus leads to a lack of ambition and inability to complete tasks?

Or just a desire to simplify and try something new, even if you don’t catch any juicy bugs that way.


Finger Lakes, FLX, hiking, Nature, NY, Uncategorized, Upstate New York

A Fetching Flock of Fungus for Friday. Pictures of Upstate New York. May.


37 thoughts on “A Fetching Flock of Fungus for Friday. Pictures of Upstate New York. May.

  1. Mushrooms are part of nature and have their own kind of beauty. No need to apologize. We can admire mushrooms and flowers along with the entire amazing array found in the web of life, Robert.

  2. These are beautiful photos Robert. I’ll walk with the Addams any day! 🙂 Don’t know about the Italian sponge cake….seems there is a woeful gap in my education that I must correct ASAP.

  3. Honey fungus, by any chance? Or a close relation?
    Hello, Rob… I’ve missed your posts. Or maybe I just didn’t look… only recently back to my blog.

    • Hi Val, My interest in mushrooms and fungi is a pretty recent thing, I’ve been reading a bit, but still don’t know much about them – it’s the shapes, textures, and colors that caught my eye.
      I haven’t been posting as much — working/traveling/etc and may be relocating again.

  4. 🙂 Yes it does! And leave it to you to do something different – I like it! The black and white is great, too – I think that’s my favorite. The first photo has a Halloween look. 😉

  5. The alliteration is great, and the fotos are fine. Actually, they’re better than fine. They’re intriguing, and look like stairsteps into a different world.

    Of course the world of fungi and lichens and algae is remarkably different, and mysterious, too. They’re harder to grasp than a flower or fir, and I think there’s a certain sense of foreboding that surrounds them. Maybe it’s all those childhood tales of poison mushrooms and such — Grimm and his chums may have done as much as anyone to put people off these little wonders.

    For whatever reason, I rarely see them, so I really enjoy your images of them.

    • I feel the same way about the wildflowers that you and Steve photograph, most of them, I’ve never seen, and definitely not up close.
      I’m glad you’re getting a kick out of the fungi shots, Linda, I do, too. Although the foreboding feeling isn’t entirely fairy-tale stuff, there’s a definite sinister side to all the tree fungi around here. I keep seeing articles about fungal attacks on maples, oaks, black walnuts, dogwoods, beeches, sycamores, etc. – basically a lot of the valuable and beautiful trees in the northeast. The idea of losing the sugar maples around here is horrible.
      The mushrooms, on the other hand, seem like a real sunny side to wet weather. When my sister starts her summer job with the Cornell Ag research station, I’m going to ask her to hunt around and see if there’s any mushroom experts over there, so if we gather some this summer, they can confirm the identity & that they’re edible.
      Here’s a random, useless factoid. One of my great uncles used to teach school in Kennett Square, Pa. (near Philly) and for over 100 years, it’s been the Mushroom Capital of the U.S., they grow a million pounds a day. And there’s no special caves, or Brothers Grimm, it was supposedly started as a sideline for local Quaker flower-growers, using the dark spaces under their raised planters. I also read they raise them in parts of the Maginot Line in France, all those old concrete fortresses left over from the world wars.

      • You’re welcomed! I’m originally from the Plattsburgh area, grew up in Cadyville, and live in Atlanta now. Enjoy the photos; I have a batch from Ausable Chasm that I’m working on now and should load up over the weekend. Then … after a while … there will be more from Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Whiteface Mountain, and a few other places. Thanks again!

    • Thank you, Katherine, so glad you liked the photos. Sorry I don’t know these folks, Parker is actually my middle name, and wasn’t a family surname. My slightly hippie-ish parents were planning on giving their children nature-themed middle names, so I’m grateful it wasn’t “Sycamore” or “Fungus”!

  6. Fantastic photos, Robert! There’s a fungus among us..and they do look good enough to eat. I love the light and color in the first and the monochrome works really well in the last. Terrific work, all. (Sorry I don’t have a good story starter like yours…)

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