Fungi in the Preserve grow every months of the year, but they tend to flourish in warm temperatures and in the moist conditions we currently have in the woods. From the plethora of fungi photos submitted this month to iNaturalist, a selection is shown here, many of them photographed by Friends members. The Kingdom of fungi has its own classifications of families and species, but here is a grouping by color, mainly white. It includes many common gilled mushrooms, as well as shelf fungi, bracket fungi, rust fungi, and even jelly fungi. One reason there are so many white fungi is that they have no chlorophylls. They recycle important nutrients in the forest, and they extract the energy they need from organic compounds, such as sugars or protein, in living or dead organism. These processes take place mostly beneath the surface or in the soil, and the function of the visible part of the fungi is to ensure reproduction by producing and releasing spores.
June 7 was a beautiful day to go on a hike. David Liebl, on his own hike through Bill's Woods that day surveying nesting birds, watched the resident Sandhill crane family doing the same—striding from the old apple orchard, along the Biocore Prairie, to the Eagle Heights Community gardens where plenty of food is in easy reach on about 300 garden plots.
Along the southern edge of the Western UW Playing Field, large puddles form when there is plenty of rain. In this case the puddle formed in a rut made by a large tire. The mud seems to be just right in consistency for Cliff Swallows who are collecting mud for building their nests along cliff sides. Arlene Koziol has recorded with her camera, how they gather mud in large groups, in sync with each other. They bring these tiny pellets to their nesting site, up to half a mile away, adding to the nest rim of the mud construction they have "glued" to the cliff.
Please visit Arlene's Flickr site for a movie and an amazing sequence of photos.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors