Background photo - Junipers in the gardens of Le Corbusier's celebrated "L'Unite" building, Marseille, France 2008
September 2011 - A-maze-ing fungi
I pulled this specimen of Daedalopsis conflagrosa ('Blushing Bracket') off a Goat Willow (Salix caprea) tree near Dalbeattie in late September. The pictures show the top and bottom of the bracket and an inset of the exquisite intracacy of the maze-like gill pattern (actually pores rather than gills).
It can be a struggle to remember the names of fungi, but Greek legend has come to the rescue for this one. Most people will have heard the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax and feathers; the feathers melted and he fell into the sea and drowned. His father was Daedalus, an important character in Greek legend, who also flew (but survived).
Daedalus created the fabled labyrinth where the half man-half bull Minotaur lived. It seems appropriate that this fungus which is identifiable by the layrinthine pore patterns might indirectly be named after him.See also the wonderfully named 'Oak mazegill' Daedalia quercina. Daedalopsis I think means 'like daedalia'
The literal transaltion of Daedalus is 'fine -craftsman' which also seems somehow very fitting.
And now I can remember this fungus...! J