Skip to main content

The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.
Since the rain started in mid October here in the Pacific Northwest, our humble wet season creatures have been hard at work in my lawn - dissolving, chewing, slurping and absorbing. I was literally tripping over mushrooms, which on closer look, show signs of further recycling.

Photobucket
                                            Fairy ring mushrooms

The shrooms, while flamboyant, are at end stage. The fungi, that woke up with the rains and sent out tiny strands of hyphae throughout the soil, burst through the turf recently in fruiting bodies. Considering how many species I see, it's quite a network of those invisible strands proliferating under there. But there's plenty to decompose in the lawn, which I will admit is only about half grass (plus moss, dandelions, buttercups...) and not over-frequently mowed. Grass clippings, leaves, fir and pine needles, bat droppings, bird droppings and feathers, vole remains - and these are just some of what I can see. It's a buffet out there for a decomposers.

But for whatever reason - the onset of winter frosts? a built in time frame? - the fungus grows up out of the turf as a visible mushroom, opens its pores or gills, and lets its spores disperse in any way possible out there.

Photobucket
                                  a bolete, some Slippery Jack species

Notice the divets in these mushrooms? The spent recyclers are being recycled themselves by the local banana slugs (Ariolimax columbianus). Here's a handsome fellow:

Photobucket

Banana slugs are our friends. They are west-coast natives, and detritus feeders, unlike the invasive European black slugs which preferentially prey on living plants. During the gardening season, it's a constant battle keeping those invasive herbivorous slugs from devouring the food we are growing. As fast as I dispatch them new ones appear out of the nearby woods. But the banana slugs are rarely in the garden, and while I don't always see them at work, I can see where they've been scraping their meals, these days feasting on abundant fungal fruiting body tissue. They also help disperse the fungal spores.

Photobucket
                                            typical slug munching track

Photobucket
                                                   a chanterelle

What's at work in your lawn? Have shrooms or slugs?

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site