Ben and I had some one on one time! We, of course, went for an adventure in the woods. Our goal was Morchella….morel mushrooms. We had no mushroom luck, however…..
There is a great area by Stony Brook in Tamworth that we frequent. Parts of it have been logged, but we’ve had good morel luck there in years past, and there is an AMAZEBALLS ravine that is, well, amazeballs. Ben thought the stream crossing was “hard core.”
It totally was.
We may not have found morels, but we found a Cordyceps! This moth was a good three inches in length, and blended right into the bark of the tree. I’m not entirely sure how we spotted it!
Per Parker, this is Cordyceps akanthomyces. Cordyceps are a genus of parasitic mushroom.
Wait, let me re-phrase that. Cordyceps are FREAKING COOL! It is always an awesome find. When an insect is infected by the fungal spores, the fungus eventually kiss the host and grows those cool-ass spikes, which will eventually release more spores. There are some that even hijack the nervous system of the host, making them climb up high and clamp on to a leaf… better for the spreading of spores, I guess?
Thankfully, Cordyceps don’t infect larger animals….. yet……