The distinctive Orange Peel fungus occurs on disturbed, compacted soils along trails or gravelly soils (or perhaps just plain gravel like here!). Aleuria aurantia is a tertiary decomposer and thus very important in the ecosstem. Other fungi, or primary and secondary decomposers do the initial organic material breakdown, then A. aurantia comes in and breaks down the complex molecules. Some are absorbed back into the fungus for nutrition and the rest is used by plants and soil dwelling organisms for their nutrition. We don't have many of these around...at least not this year which is too bad. After you have stopped cursing someone for flinging their orange peels on the path, you can appreciate the splash of colour that these provide on days like this where there are only many shades of grey.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.