Pretty… and deadly?

Okay, so I’ve managed to upload enough pictures to complete a few posts – if not in the way I originally planned! There are power outages in the area due to the storm so I figured, if I’m going to do it, do it now!

A few days back, I was able to get some really interesting photos around the yard. Especially images of various mushrooms that have been growing.

I must say, it feels strange to be posting this on a day when the ground is now covered in heavy snow!

This patch caught my eye because of the way it frames the drip line of the spruce tree nearby.

This patch is an odd one. It’s the only area where there are SO MANY all in one area. At first, I thought maybe the wood chips we used as mulch may have contributed, but the other areas using the same mulch do not have this.

Unfortunately, the haskap bush (female) in the first photo, which had been doing so well all summer, suddenly seems to have died. You can barely even see it in the photo, among the stems of the flowers. I find myself wondering if the mushrooms might have contributed to its demise. The other haskap (male) seems to be okay, though it does not have as many mushrooms growing beside it.

Next spring, I’ll have to pick up at least one female haskap transplant. Or more. With this one dying, it means there’s no chance of having berries next year. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

While going around the yard, I spotted the tiniest of splashes of colour on an old tree stump I uncovered while clearing the old wood pile. The next day was our one hot day, and that seems to have damaged them, so I’m glad to have gotten a few photos. I’ve never seen anything like them before!

I had company while I was walking around the yard, taking pictures. I had to laugh when, once again, as I tried to get photos of this particular mushroom, I had a cat jump up and interrupt. LOL

I’ve been going a bit of research, and it seems that these tree mushrooms that are growing on the maples may be oyster mushrooms. Which means they are edible!

We won’t be taking any chances, though, but it was interesting to read about.

These ones I found, pushing their way through the leaves, looked really interesting!

I found these interesting, too. With all the rain, there has been a notable increase of growth on the trees themselves.

The lichen, I’m used to seeing. Finding new moss establishing itself among the lichen was cool. Little baby mosses! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I noticed one of the trees I was taking pictures of, has a big crack in it! Something to watch out for when we have high winds, such as today.

While doing my research on what sorts of fungi were growing on our trees, I made a discovery.

The photo on the left is on the stump of an apple tree my sister had pruned back before we moved out here. The tree had some growth that first summer, but it did not survive the winter. Recently, we spotted the fascinating fungal grown on it. The purple makes it really stand out.

It turns out to be something called Chondrostereum purpureum.

And it’s a disease. Silver leaf disease, so be exact.

How to get rid of it

Many plants will recover naturally from an attack of silver leaf, so itโ€™s best to wait some time after youโ€™ve noticed the silvering before you take action. If branches start to die back as a result of the disease they should be pruned back beyond the spread of the brown colouration, to the next adjoining stem.

Where the entire plant is infected, or silvering starts to appear on suckers growing from the roots/rootstock, then it is infected throughout and should be removed (roots and all) and destroyed (burned). This should be done before September to prevent the spores developing and spreading to other plants. Donโ€™t leave the wood lying around as this may become a source of infection for other plants.

Is it good for anything?!

No.

Wow. Okay.

Actually, I did find that there is a use for it. It’s used to deliberately infect problem trees to get rid of them.

So I went back and looked at the other trees, and found some growing on the remains of a crabapple tree that had already been cut to ground level.

We weren’t able to go anything about it before the storm hit. Hopefully, it won’t infect the other trees. At least we now know about it, and what to do – or not do – to deal with it.

Once this storm is passed, we’re supposed to actually warm up a bit; the snow on the ground will likely not last. Here’s hoping! We still have quite a lot to do outside before winter hits!

The Re-Farmer

The things I’ve been finding

I’ll start with the things I found today. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first thing I found this morning was a Pump Shack kitten! After opening up the sun room to let the other kittens out and get some cat kibble, I turned to find him at the door, waiting to see if he could sneak past me for some food!

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He never did come in while I was there, but after I put food out by the junk pile and pump shack, I came back to find him, with Junk Pile kitten and Rosencrantz (his mom), sharing food with Doom Guy and Keith.

We rarely see Rosencrantz these days, and we haven’t seen Guildenstern in ages. Same with Jim, Bobby and Rolando Moon. I hope they are okay, wherever they are.

While checking the yard for any fallen branches or damage, I found…

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One of the tree mushrooms had fallen.

That thing is really big!

I looked around for the others I’d spotted a few days back; they are not only still there, but bigger than ever. All this rain is definitely mushroom weather!

The final find of the day was something my daughter had to point out to me, or I would have missed it entirely.

During the night, I kept hearing the kittens getting onto the dining table, where they are not allowed to be. In coming out to chase them off, they were usually already down, but I could see the cords from our ceiling fan swinging. They were getting on the table to try and play with them!

A friend of mine has had success with using aluminum foil to get her cats from doing where they are not supposed to, so I figured I’d give it a try, leaving sheets of them in front of each chair that they are using to get onto the table.

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As you can see by the paw prints, it didn’t work!

Another find I made was a few days ago, during my rare times to the basement. I needed a washer of a particular size and hoped I could find one among the various drawers and cabinets down there.

I found this.

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The old syringe my dad used to use to treat cattle. I remember it used to be stored in a case, together with needles of various sizes, but there is only the syringe, now. Check out the inner chamber, that would be sterilized and reused, again and again – as did the needles! They certainly don’t make them like this, anymore!

Interestingly, we found these just the next day.

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I found them with my feet. These are the sorts of medicine bottles that would have been used with that syringe.

Knowing my brother was coming with some wheels to try on the old trailer frame in the hay yard by the barn, my daughter and I went to pull it out of the grass. It’s really heavy, so we were not going to be able to drag it out of the old hay yard, through the barn, and into the outer yard, as I’d hope we might be able to, but we didn’t want to just leave it in the grass again, either. Leaning against the barn were some old tires, so I dragged several out to put under the frame. While pulling out the first tire, I stepped on something that my foot slipped on, and found an old medicine bottle, half buried in the dirt. I moved it aside but when I came back for the next tire, I stepped on another one!

We took them into the barn. I don’t know what we’ll do with them, but I want to keep these! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Re-Farmer

I thought this was cool!

We have a provincial election coming up, with voting day on the same day we have a medical appointment for my husband in the city, so we are taking advantage of the advance polls being open right now.

I’d already voted and had to go through the whole registration process a few days ago, so when the girls and I came in, I had some time on my hands while they did the paperwork.

The location just happens to have a Pokemon Go gym at it, so I went outside to conquer it.

While I was doing that, I noticed some beautiful fungi at the bottom of a maple tree.

While pausing to take pictures, I noticed something amazing about the tree.

I’m going to stack the photos below and hopefully give you some sense of what I was seeing.

Woodpeckers have drilled a trench up the tree, then into the tree, with holes opening it up along the way.

That blows my mind is that the tree is somehow still alive! There is very little bark left on it.

While taking those pictures, I noticed the tree next to it.

With this, just a short distance from my head.

I have a hard time believing no one has noticed it, since it’s clearly been there a while. Which means it’s been left there on purpose. This is a municipal owned property, and all I can think when I see that is “liability.” !!

I can see where other trees have been taken down, plus there are pieces of tree trucks strewn about artistically in the grass. The trees are obviously tended to, in a general sense.

Though the power lines to the building run right through several trees.

*sigh*

Anyhow.

I just thought that swooping, bird created trench and holes in the one tree was really amazing and wanted to share it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Re-Farmer

There are fungus among us

My apologies for the bad pun… ๐Ÿ˜€

Walking through the West yard, we noticed these, high above our heads…

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This is on one of the three big maples near the fire pit.

They showed up very quickly; I know for sure they weren’t there, just a couple of days ago!

Looking around, we found these on another branch of the same tree.

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That’s as much as I could zoom in with my phone’s camera and still get a half decent photo.

Of course, we immediately started looking around the other trees for more, but found none, so we continued on through where I had been working this morning.ย  We ended up going through the rest of the maple grove, too, and found more!

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These were just a few feet above our heads.

Whatever these mushrooms are, they like maples, they like the spaces where branches used to grow, long ago, and they grow really fast!

The Re-Farmer

Beware the Chair Fungus

There is a chair.

It’s a sturdy metal chair, painted grey, with a padded grey seat, covered in vinyl.

This is an outside chair.ย  I don’t know where it came from, or how long its been outside, but I remember it being there since at least 2009, when we took a road trip to visit family out here.

I remember my dad sitting on it, outside the sun room, with the outside cats all around him.ย  Now, it is on the concrete pad, outside the main entry.

I’ve been thinking of repainting it and doing something about the cracks and holes in the seat.ย  Chairs as sturdy as this one are rather hard to come by, these days.

I should probably get on that.

20180625.chair.fungus

The Re-Farmer