I admit it. I stop in my tracks when I see a mushroom or conk. Fungus is interesting especially when you take the time to photograph it while laying on your stomach.

Puffballs not your typical mushrooms

Poof. With the gentle nudge of a shoe, a small plume of “smoke” rises from the dry puffball. Adults and kids often get a kick out of mature puffballs and their spore plumes. When mature, puffballs release thousands to trillions of tiny spores–tiny as in 0.00014 to 0.00019 inches in…

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Blister rust decimated white pine forests

The western white pine was the most abundant forest type in the Inland Northwest 50 years ago. Long, clear trunks skyrocketed to heights of 200 feet which isn’t large compared to other conifers. But their tenacity to grow fast after fires and their resistance to many diseases allows them to…

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Conks begin recycling trees before they’re dead

High in a birch tree, a large conk grows on the trunk–a sure sign the birch is decaying from the inside out. Conks, also known as shelf fungi or bracket fungi, are an external indicator that a tree may be rotten inside. Bacteria and fungi both can cause decay, but…

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