After days of rain here in Kentucky, during a break in the weather this afternoon, I drove to Bernheim for lunch. After stopping at the Cafe, I was going to make a quick stop at the Arboretum, but turned onto the Overlook Drive instead and parked. This area of Bernheim is moisture laden and I now have a better understanding as to why. A small brook runs along the woods line. The ground was wet and very waterlogged, and laden with dead leaves of every shape and size, from oak to sycamore to elm, just to name a few.
There were quite a few large dead trees and branches laying about from past storms. And you know what grows on dead trees . . . Fungi and Mushrooms and Lichen and Moss. Everywhere I looked it was a wonderland of just that. And then I caught sight of it, a quite large clump of Wild Oyster Mushrooms growing on the side of a hardwood tree. I took several images at different angles hoping to get a decent shot in spite of the dreary day.
I wanted a side angle image so you could see the beautiful white spore print, that pattern, we're all familiar with on the underside of Mushrooms. That spore print attaches to the stem, or technically, the stipe, by a decurrent gill. However, this Wild Oyster Mushroom has no stipes. Not all Mushrooms do. And before I fail to mention it, this Mushroom is the very thing Mushroom hunters hunt for, as they are very edible. Although I'd never pick one nor eat one I've picked out in the wild.
I continued to make my way along the brook discovering more Toadstools, Lichen and Moss. I also found a gorgeous Brown Jelly Fungi which I'd never seen before and had to look up when I returned home. I promise to share that in another post. You can bet I've tucked this spot away in my memory for just another rainy day such as this. Hope your weekend was a nice one. Please Mother Nature, I could use some sunshine. ENJOY!