|The infamous xylobolus blob.|
And she meant it.
Xylobolus, as I'm sure you're aware (right!), grows on oak and is sometimes called ceramic parchment fungus. It looks--well, blobby. I would have walked right past it if I hadn't been tromping through woods and muddy streams with a trained botanist.
The weather was cool enough for coats and hats and wet enough to thoroughly muddy up our hiking boots, but recent warm temperatures led to early blooms for some spring wildflowers. We saw twinleaf and bloodroot already past the blossom stage, and elsewhere we saw hillsides festooned with blue-eyed mary or lovely yellow celandine poppies. Deep in the ravine we ran across rarer specimens: perfoliate bellwort and trout lilies just barely blooming, mertensia and spring larkspur vying to produce the most abundant blue blossoms.
|Squirrel corn. Note the little nodules belowground.|
Yes! A new type of trillium to know and love! Woo-hoo! It's not exactly a blob of xylobolus, but nevertheless it made my day.
|Not jellyfish--jelly fungus.|
|That blue-eyed mary gets around!|
|Club fern. (Neither a club nor a fern.)|
|Squirrel corn on the left, dutchman's breeches on the right.|
|Fern fiddleheads unfurling.|