Some recent nature photographs taken at nearby Hildacy Preserve in Media, PA. All images are hot-linked to iNaturalist observations if you’d like to correct my identification or make a comment.
Ootheca of Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis), one of eight oothecae in the branches of a small hawthorn. Winter is a great time to remove this invasive species (they eat butterflies).
I’ve seen these before but never bothered to photograph them. I’m fairly confident the fungus is Multiclavula mucida and that the green alga is Coccomyxa. They are symbiotic, just like lichen. If you’d like more information about this fungus, Gary Emberger at Messiah College has a page.
Just a common turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) but I liked the rain-covered moss that covered the log. The mushroom is eating the log, not the moss. Gary Emberger has more details.
This one took me a long time to identify and I’m still not positive: Tremella encephala. If I’m right, that would mean the shelf fungi (withered, papery fluffs along stem) are Stereum sanguinolentum, the host of the parasitic jelly. The shelf fungus is also visible inside the blobs as lighter, more opaque tissue. For great pics and natural history information, please see the Forest Floor Narrative’s post.
As with many of my photographs, I didn’t know what this was initially (I take photographs of unknowns hoping I might learn something interesting). I think the swelling is caused by a rust fungus (Gymnosporangium sp.). This fungus makes bizarre, orange, gooey structures on leaves and fruit during the warmer months and, oddly, alternates between rosaceous hosts and junipers. Given that the host here is a hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum, I think) this could be Gymnosporangium globosum (hawthorn rust) but several other species in the genus (e.g., G. clavipes, G. nidus-avis) can also infect this tree. I’m hoping the shape of the twig swellings might be important for identification, but so far I’ve been unable to find a book or article that tells me more. For wonderful photographs and descriptions of this fungus, see Joe Boggs’ page.
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