Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘fungus


with 16 comments

The title of today’s post reflects that fact that today is 2/22/22, on which date the country used to celebrate George Washington’s birthday when I was a kid, and for the sake of which this post went out at 2:22 in the morning. That’s a lotta 2s. Even so, you’re getting just one twosome of photographs today. From the property of Central City Austin Church in far northwest Austin on Valentine’s Day come these two pictures of sycamore trees, Platanus occidentalis. In the top view, the sycamore played merely a supporting role, literally and pictorially, for a shelf fungus. Below, the peeling bark on a sycamore bole is the subject in its own right.


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American college tuition has skyrocketed, “thanks” to the bloat of high-salaried administrators making sure that trendy ideological nonsense pervades everything. Prime among the institutions that have resisted the descent into mass delusion and indoctrination is Hillsdale College. You don’t even have to enroll there to learn from its free online courses. Watch some lessons and see what you think.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2022 at 2:22 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Shelf fungus

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At Palmetto State Park on November 23rd I photographed several kinds of shelf fungi. Not till I processed this picture the next day did I notice a spider over on the left side—and a strange spider it was, with only six legs. What happened to the other two, I don’t know. You’re welcome to click the excerpt below for a closer look at the six-legged spider.

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I call your attention to the article “The Empowering of the American Mind: 10 Principles for Opposing Thought Reform in K-12,” in which Greg Lukianoff fleshes out each of these:

  • Principle 1: No compelled speech, thought, or belief.
  • Principle 2: Respect for individuality, dissent, and the sanctity of conscience.
  • Principle 3: Teachers & administrators must demonstrate epistemic humility.
  • Principle 4: Foster the broadest possible curiosity, critical thinking skills, and discomfort with certainty.
  • Principle 5: Foster independence, not moral dependency.
  • Principle 6: Do not teach children to think in cognitive distortions.
  • Principle 7: Do not teach the ‘Three Great Untruths.’
  • Principle 8: Take student mental health more seriously.
  • Principle 9: Resist the temptation to reduce complex students to limiting labels. 
  • Principle 10: If it’s broke, fix it. Be willing to form new institutions that empower students and educate them with principles of free, diverse, and pluralistic society.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 5, 2021 at 4:32 AM

Fungi on a dead branch

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Adjacent to the blossoming Mexican plum tree you recently saw in a picture from February 6th were these fungi growing on a dead branch. Mycologist David Lewis says they’re probably in the genus Trametes.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2019 at 5:35 PM

Posted in nature photography

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Shadow as an emblem of a bird in flight

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Along the North Walnut Creek Trail on the morning of September 19th I looked down at a mushroom and saw a dark bird winging west. Oh, the world of illusions we live in. Casting the magic shadow spell was a straggler daisy plant, Calyptocarpus vialis.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2018 at 4:46 AM

New Zealand: Riccarton Bush

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Right in Christchurch is a little piece of New Zealand that largely preserves the way things were before the Europeans arrived. You can read about it in an article on the website of the Christchurch City Libraries.

When we visited on March 1st, a bit of bright orange on the forest floor contrasted with the general dimness inside the dense native bush and couldn’t help but get my attention.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 5, 2017 at 4:57 AM

A colorful fungus

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probably Ganoderma lucidum or curtisii

On a fallen tree trunk in Great Hills Park on October 6th I found an attractive fungus I don’t recall seeing before. It turns out not to be edible, but it does have appetizing colors, don’t you think?

From looking at the photograph, Texas mushroom experts David and Patricia Lewis tell me that the fungus is probably Ganoderma lucidum or the very similar G. curtisii. According to the relevant Wikipedia articleGanoderma lucidum has “a worldwide distribution in both tropical and temperate geographical regions,” and it has long been used in Oriental medicine.


I’m attending the Native Plant Society of Texas symposium all day today. You’re welcome to leave comments, but I may be late in replying.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 17, 2015 at 4:28 AM

A Pycnoporus fungus

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Orange Fungus with Dry Pine Needles 2028

Here’s a fungus in the genus Pycnoporus that had incorporated some dry pine needles into itself. Like the last few photographs, this one comes from an April 27th field trip to Bastrop State Park led by botanist Bill Carr. Thanks to mycologist David P. Lewis for identifying the genus of the fungus. (I couldn’t give him enough information to distinguish between the two species in Texas.)

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 29, 2014 at 5:52 AM

Tan fungus

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Within sight of the kidneywood that I photographed in my neighborhood on October 10 was this tan fungus growing on a broken-off piece of dead branch. I’d have thought that the patterned side of the fungus would be facing the branch, but that tells you how little I know about such things.

For those of you who are interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2, 4, 8 and 19 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM

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