Monday, November 9, 2009

Macro Monday – Lichen and Witch's Butter

DSC04146  Lichen detail

On Halloween, impressive naturalist Dave Ingram posted an amazing photo of orange jelly fungus which prompted me to ask if the fungus in my photo also was orange jelly.

DSC04147 lichen and fungus

This was his response:
"Had a look at your image DutchBaby and it looks to me like a dried out Witch’s Butter (Tremula lutescens – also called T. mesenterica). According to New Savory, Witch’s Butter becomes orange red in colour and tough in texture when dried. That definitely fits the appearance of your photograph. Orange Jelly apparently just disintegrates when it gets older so that also makes me lean toward Witch’s Butter. It also looks like the fungus is on hardwood, perhaps an apple tree(?), so that would fit with habitat as well…"
I don't think it was an apple tree, I think it might have been an aging Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia). Thank you, Dave, for your expertise!

Another Macro Monday inspired by Lisa's Chaos.


Ruth said...

I don't think I've ever seen so much lichen on one branch, wow. It's splendid. And so is the witch's butter. The colors are so nice in their complementariness.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,

I love lichen on branches, stone walls, and stepping stones. It has so much texture.

I would like to compliment you on the word complementariness.

margie said...

we have that orange goo at the cottage. i wish i had my mushroom/fungus book at home so i could check but i suspect it is the same thing. the book is on the island with the cottage and the mushrooms.

Dave Ingram said...

Gorgeous lichen photograph Dutch Baby! So much texture and species diversity in one little section of a branch - makes you realize that there's more to the forest than just the trees!

The witch's butter is fantastic as well. My wife and I have been out looking for it but have only been finding the orange jelly. Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Wonder why they call it witches butter. Fascinating photos.

Gel said...

It looks like a "jelly" but I'm no expert. Dave's blog is filling me with cool info!
Love the photo. (I think my photo has the same plant "ferns"(non fungal as yours)? I'm horrid at identifying plants. I wonder if my "green" are the same as yours?
Enjoyed your photos very much!

InventingLiz said...

It does look like a blob of jelly, or some kind of gummy-creature...

Marilyn Miller said...

Beautiful pictures which ever they are. I love lichens and will have to do some photo shoots with them also.

Relyn Lawson said...

These images are stunning. Really stunning. Plus, I love the idea of it being Witch's Butter. Orange Jelly just doesn't have the same ring.

Tammie Lee said...

both of your images are wonderful! I love fungi of all sorts, these are great to see.

Unknown said...

Witch's butter - love the name! :)

LoisW said...

Fascinating photo! Looks like amber!

Anonymous said...

I love that you went for something that most people would never even take notice of...wonderful...Michelle

Dutchbaby said...

Dear margie,
It's amazing to me that you have the same fungus where you are. This is the first time I observed anything like this. I almost didn't photograph it; I was after the lichen further down the branch that you see in my top photo.

Dear Dave Ingram,
Thank you for my education on butters and jellies in nature; I was totally clueless.

The diversity of species is what drew me to the branch in the first photo. It was all so perfectly composed in perfect balance of color and texture.

Dear awarewriter,
You ask a very good question. Welcome to dutchbaby!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Gel,
It looks like your plant is an Artemisia Silver Mound. It's a shrub and not a lichen but the greens are very similar. We did coincidentally post very similar images!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Liz,
You're right it does look like a gummy bear!

Dear Marilyn Miller,
I look forward to seeing yours!

Dear Relyn,
I agree, it's aptly named.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Tammie Lee,
Thank you! I love your shots of the submerged leaves!

Dear Lisaschaos,
I was thrilled to learn its name!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Middle Aged Woman Blogging,
It absolutely does! If it hardened like amber it would be even more similar.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear ramblingwoods,
Most people just stare back blankly when I point out lichen to them. Thanks for appreciating it.

Gel said...

Thank you for identifying my plant! I could see they're not the same only because I'm an artist and am visual, but I"m no gardener and although I love biology, I only know common info. Thanks again!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Gel,
You're welcome :) Artemisia is a very nice plant for the garden because of its soft silver feathery foliage.

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