developing: Mayor disagrees with Western Heights food service suspensiondeveloping: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Central Oklahoma hospitals working together to prepare for COVID-19 surgelive: Oklahoma coronavirus confirmed cases: 1,327; 51 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Nature & You: Not all fungi are mushrooms

If you're outside after a spring rain, you might see these orange, multi-armed objects on cedar trees. [WIKIPEDIA PHOTO]

If you're outside after a spring rain, you might see these orange, multi-armed objects on cedar trees. [WIKIPEDIA PHOTO]

Not all fungi are mushrooms

Life-giving rain showers are kind of a hit-or-miss phenomenon. Nevertheless, late-April is almost guaranteed to be wetter than most other months of the year.

Gardeners, nature-lovers and wildflower enthusiasts eagerly anticipate this annual influx of moisture. The extra rain is sure to jump-start the new life that is just now beginning to emerge in the outdoor world.

I'd encourage you to pay particular attention to colors when you venture outside. Be on the hunt for an orange-colored object that is about the size of a golf ball/baseball. It is to be found clinging to a branch on a cedar tree (i.e., those native evergreens that are here, there and everywhere).

This orange-colored object takes on the appearance of a multi-armed octopus. It is nothing of the sort, of course. The orange-colored appendages are the fruiting bodies of a special kind of fungus. It's called cedar apple rust.

This special fungi is here one day and gone the next. If the thought of getting a little bit of mud on your shoes is off-putting to you, then chances are that you'll never be the wiser that you have these sorts of strange things in your neighborhood.

Slip on your old, weather-beaten pair of shoes.

Get outside!

Go exploring!

— Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor

Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center.

Neil Garrison

Neil Garrison is an outdoor nature enthusiast. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University/Stillwater; he earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology. Prior to his 2009 retirement, he was the Naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center for 30... Read more ›

Comments