Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Fungus Fun-Facts and a Feast for our Feathered Friends

This warm, wet winter we are having is producing more fotogenic fungus in the woods than I’ve ever seen. I hope you aren’t tired of my fungus finds!  

We came upon these new-to-me Stinkhorn Fungi on a hike, and they were just everywhere over a half acre of recently cleared forest.

Stinkhorn fungus seems to come in many shapes, sizes and colors, including the bright red and brown ones we saw. The ones below were each about 5 inches long.  

They grow fast —  four to six inches an HOUR, and with such force they have been known to break through asphalt!  That’s really amazing because the one I touched (you know I had to touch it!) was so soft and fragile it felt like pudding.  Wet, slimy pudding that melted in the spot where I had put my finger.  

Once they mature they give off an odor that smells like manure or rotting flesh. Not nice for human noses, but attractive to flies that eat the slime that forms on the end and then carry off the spores to new locations. Fortunate for us with so many around, these were too young to “stink”.

Two more fungus blooms from our hike, names unknown.  

With the mild winter we have had so far, the birds have been abundant. This holly tree was loaded with berries on Saturday.  On Monday afternoon a large flock of robins discovered it and nearly stripped it of berries!  

We keep a feast available in our wooded backyard for our visitors. This is our set-up, with tasty treats for all.

The blue hanging bowl holds grape jelly for the orioles, and on the ground is a pile of sunflower seeds for the mourning doves and squirrels. 

In this feeder are black oiler sunflower seeds, a finch seed mix, meal worms, and suet peanut nuggets.  

  It’s a busy place most of the day!

  Yesterday’s visitors: 
cardinals, mourning doves, pine warblers, Baltimore orioles, eastern bluebirds, tufted titmouses, white-breasted nuthatches, chickadees, house finches, chipping sparrows, purple finches, brown thrasher, downy woodpecker, ruby-crowned kinglets, Carolina wren, redwing blackbirds and cowbirds. 


  1. Wow. You do get a lot of birds. The fungus are incredible. I don't think you'll be returning just to smell their stink.

  2. Lucky you - all those native birds to visit.
    Here thanks to utter stupidity in the early 1900's, and the introduction of the killer
    Mynah birds, our little native birds have been all killed.
    I wonder would our Indian Mynah birds assist with your present lunatic situation??????????
    Keep safe

  3. You can be very happy to have all those birds visit your yard.

  4. I bet those Robins had a wonderful feed.
    Fungi, ever fascinating and how lovely to feed the birds in your backyard - they are a delight.

  5. You are certainly blessed with so many varieties of visitors to your garden. Interesting about the stinky fungi not something that I have ever come across before.

  6. You can post about fungi all you want as far as I am concerned, Cynthia, and I appreciate your enthusiasm for organisms so many pay hardly any attention to. It is a fascinating and essential part of any ecosystem. As for your bird feeders my feathered friends obviously know where to find the best meal in town and you are rewarded with their company. Bravo on two counts today!

  7. I just got a new camera! You have inspired me to look for fungi photos:)

  8. Fantabulous fungal finds! We tend to get more interesting birdlife here when the weather turns colder and European birds come over here for our (slightly) milder climate.

  9. Interesting fungi...maybe if you had lots of time you could just watch it grow! Wow you have quite a buffet going for the birds...and so many different birds! It is snowing here and the wind is supposed to come up...we are safe at home with no plans to go out until next Tuesday. :)

  10. I can see the birds have a good life by you, lots of meals for them!

  11. I like your bird feeder set up!❤️

  12. Yay for all the little birds that visit your place especially the Carolina Wren x