How much do you know about fungi?
Probably not much at all or your answer could be that they are usually found after rain, growing out of cow patties and taste great on pizza.
WARNING: Don’t eat any fungi growing out of animal manure! Only a small percentage of fungi, worldwide, are non-poisonous and as the saying goes,”All mushrooms are edible but only once in a life-time.”
Farmers grow great fungi, so it is best to leave it up to them and buy your mushrooms at the shops.
Most people think fungi are plants but they don’t have chlorophyll and do not conduct photosynthesis. In fact, fungi are more closely related to animals. They now hold their own status up there with plants and animals as the three major multi-cellular groups of the domain of Eukaryota.
Along with cats and wrinkly, old ladies from remote villages in Asia, I enjoy photographing fungi. Yes, I know it must sound like I live a pretty boring life when I resort to photographing objects which don’t have a personality, but honestly, fungi are great subjects. Unlike, cats and old ladies, I can get up close and personal without having my eyes scratched out and I don’t need a translator. Fungi can be hard and strong or soft and fragile. They can be found in the most amazing colours but most importantly, they perform an essential role in ecosystems where they decompose organic matter.
After recent rain it was “Friday Fungi Photo Day,” and like a bush turkey, I scratched around in my local rainforest in search of nature’s gifts. A few ticks and leeches later, I found my prizes, all within the space of 50 meters. To be able to experience fungi first-hand in my own little bit of heaven is a special reminder that all living organisms are important and valued members of the rainforest ecosystem.