Summer of Growth?


FUNGAL BEAUTY


August 9, 2016

Summers are always a period of growth in our yard.  This summer is no different, but what is growing there isn’t exactly what we’ve seen before.

All our fruit bearing trees and bushes have produced next to nothing.  We have two apple trees, a Mayday tree, a Saskatoon bush, a mountain ash tree, a silver buffalo berry bush, and a cranberry bush.  The only berries can be seen at the top of the mountain ash, on the cranberry bush, and on the silver buffalo berry bush.  The others don’t have one piece of fruit on them.  They all produced flowers in the spring, but after talking things over with our friend, Susan-of-significant-horticultural-knowledge, our conclusion is that the frost we got when the blossoms were out in May (remember how early the blooms were this year) hit the flora at exactly the wrong time and extinguished the whole reproduction cycle for this year.

I can live with that, I guess, but for one year only, thank you very much.  Our fall migration of birds have a big surprise waiting for them when they arrive with their migration-driven hunger.  I suppose that we won’t be honoured with the flocks of different birds like we usually are.  I refuse to be content with only crows, but maybe that is all that will be around this year.  I think I’ll give my slingshot some practice so I can shoo them away when they settle near our house to squawk at 5:30 in the morning.

What has grown very well this year is every form of fungi you can think of.  It is on most of the bushes and even the few flowers we have.  That can’t be good for them, but there is not much we can do with many of the infestations.  No doubt our constant rain and lack of sun in July has brought this on.

The fungi that have grown well and are better for all the rain, are those varieties that are working to turn an old tree stump in our yard into soil.  That is the subject of my images for this essay.  The beauty of these fungi is worth a close look.  I have a difficult time remembering plant types so I’m not going to tackle the fungi names.  What I do know is there are many varieties on this one stump and they all have their own, fragile beauty.  For me, some of the beauty is in the organized patterns and layers with which these fungi grow.  Maybe that appeals to my engineering sense of the necessary order of things, but the colours and ornate shapes claim most of my attention.

Our lovely green lawn definitely likes the wet weather, but the fungi shows there as well, as little mushrooms pop up all over the place.  Thankfully I’ve not seen any organized growth of a ferry-ring of fungi, which is deadly for a nice looking lawn.

I do hope August brings more stable weather and summer’s last blush of heat.  I am also hoping for a long fall with a display of orange and red colours in the trees and bushes.