12/2/12

The end of autumn

I was in Berkeley yesterday for the 43rd Annual Fungus Fair at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley.

This was my favorite fungus, Clathrus ruber. The egg-like enclosure, lined with a gelatinous anti-freeze material, cracks open to reveal the rank, red brain.

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Deadly Amanita also emerge from an egg-like enclosure, called a "universal veil". I am told the universal veil is a characteristic of the amanitas. It remains underground and shrivels into a volva once the mushroom pops up.

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I loved these sulfurous yellow mushrooms, Hypholoma fasciculare. Bitter and poisonous, they are not for eating.

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There were several tables of specimens, all collected in the last day or two following recent heavy rains.

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Northern California is quite soaked, as three (four?) big storms have moved through one after the other in the last few days. I think this is the last of it today.

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You can barely see San Francisco through the weather.

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The Golden Gate Bridge is a thin horizontal in the distance.

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I thought I'd go home after lingering at the Fair for an hour or two, but decided to give the Botanical Garden a quick visit since I was there and my membership is current. I'm glad I did. It was a riot of color.

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It must have been lovely (erm, lovelier still) before the recent rains brought down the leaves.

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Somewhere near here the scent of Cercidyphyllum japonicum stopped me in my tracks, like toasted marshmallows or cotton candy this time of year, when the leaves senesce.

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Even the rose garden was full of interest

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Another one that stopped in my tracks: Myrtus communis. All chartreuse foliage and blue berries. Annie in Austin informs me this is a popular one in Austin, TX. Well, you don't see it much around here.

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I'd forgotten this was here, an art installation using glass tubes recovered by artists from the Solyndra debacle (National Review readers hate it). Step inside the dark room...

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Full of natural light carried in by glass.

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Different effects depending on where you stand.

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Here is a picture using the camera flash so you can see what you're looking at.

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, thank you! Wish I was there.

Vanessa Crews said...

Thanks for the great photos Chuck. I'm glad you enjoyed your rainy day visit!

Vanessa Crews said...

PS I share your post on the Garden's Facebook page and retweeted the pics too!

Michelle said...

What a great way to spend the day. The fungi are fascinating. I noticed some interesting ones popping up yesterday when I managed to squeeze in a hike between storms. But the foliage around here is dismal, all the oak trees have been gnawed by the oak moths and the big leaf maples have dropped most of their leaves already. At least the hillsides are starting to turn green again. Another interesting post full of beautiful photos - thank you!

queerbychoice said...

Wow! I'm not sure how the botanical garden could possibly have been "lovelier still" than it was in your pictures here.

Annie in Austin said...

I'm glad you made the stop, Chuck.
My favorite was the photo where the trees and shrubs enclosed the curve of the road with tall and round evergreens and splashes of red, burgundy and orange. We get a little fall color here and in a wetter year a few mushrooms but never anything like this!

Annie

martha said...

Your post and gorgeous pictures inspire me to go to the Garden this week. I didn't know about the glass tube installation but your pictures make it look very interesting and even beautiful.

Charlie said...

Great pictures of the botanical garden. Thank you for posting. I have bookmarked your site and will return. Thank you.

LostRoses said...

Fascinating, Chuck, and great photos of the mushrooms. Plus I don't think I've ever seen the phrase "rank, red brain" in a garden post before. Bravo!

Garden supply said...

Simply love this pics of botanical garden, beautiful pics!! It's really colorful indeed, a wonderful autumn.