Titirangi Storyteller

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Archive for July 2014

The Daring Debauchery of the Decadent Stinkhorn Fungus

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Stinkhorn-fb-1I was so enthralled by the discovery of these Stinkhorn Fungus at the Auckland Domain yesterday shooting the sad flowers of winter, I returned today with my tripod and macro lens – though they are not really macro subjects averaging 10-12 cm high (4-5″) and when fully extended 25-30cm across (12″). But the macro lens goes to f32 (I’m using the Tamron 90mm) which is much better for close ups than the usual f22.
Spending a couple of hours shooting these, I was a bit overwhelmed by their stink – a bit like a fishkill on a hot summer day – heavy and very rank… You would think that a patch of bush between the cafe and toilet block that was overrun with giant red fungus would get some attention, but my fell ow humans continue to dismay me – even when I pointed it out to them, most people looked and dully and moved on, including a boy of about 7 who shrugged his shoulders and ran off. Fortunately I was able to get a couple of folks excited enough to snap a few shots of their own.
The skinny on the Stinkhorn Fungus for the mushroom geeks: The fruiting body of a stinkhorn fungus emerges from the ground as an egg-like structure. It then splits open, revealing a stalk with a number of coloured arms. This species, Anthurus archeri, is growing in a clump of moss in native forest. Stinkhorn fungi produce a smelly mucus mass full of spores at the base of their arms. Flies feed on the stinking mucus and in so doing help to spread the spores.
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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

14/07/2014 at 12:42 am

Even the flowers are depressed

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Wintergarden-fb-18I’ve had enough of winter already, thank you thank you…

It’s never really been my cuppa, even when I was a kid in the northern hemisphere in the wilds of upstate New York where the snows fell 4 feet deep and snowdays meant you got to play outside in it all day long in the middle of the week. Yeah, for me it meant the other kids would leave me alone while I curled up in bed with a book.

But that was then and this is now and there is no snow, no endless expanse of white to gaze at in the morning. Instead it’s this endless y-light, the colour of the light that manages to squeeze itself through heavy blanketing rainclouds, fat a soggy with endless drops of rain. Endlessly dreary and sad and cold and damp and, well… duh… I’m not enjoying it.

Hauled myself over to the Wintergarden in the Auckland Domain today and discovered the flowers are feeling pretty much the same as I am about the whole thing. Kinda wretched, kinda beautiful… we’ll all be happy when October gets here… but that’s sooooooooooooooo far away!

 

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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

13/07/2014 at 2:22 am

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