Recently, I’ve been going on random trips in search of healthy logs that have not decayed yet. With some good dedication and luck, I’ve been able to hull some logs back home and started to create a micro-habitat. This micro-habitat was mainly for bugs to grow underneath, but with the addition of branches, sticks, and leaf clutters which I piled on top of the logs. I managed to create a gecko, ant, and other bug critter habitat. This brown fungi is one of the fungi that started growing on one of the sticks of this micro-habitat I made. I’m not sure what it is but it’s hairy and porous, but it’s really durable also… like the fruiting body (as shown below) has not aged one bit since I taken it off the branch…
The fruiting bodies of mushroom are the reproductive organs of the mushroom, that allow fungi to move around and grow in new areas. So be careful when you touch a mushroom, you could hurt it or it can hurt you if it’s poisonous! But because of the durable surface of this fungi’s fruiting body, the part of the mushroom which grows above the surface, it was a bit hard to get small chunks of the mushroom off. So I reverted to using a needle to poke out an area of the mushroom and then gently roll it onto the sticky tape of the Foldscope slide.
Mushroom organisms are made up of cellular extension called hyphae. These hyphae function in all sorts of these like food collection, growth, and storage! When a network of hyphae is formed, it’s called mycelium. Mycelium ranges in how big and spread they can get. Some get as small as some plant roots, while others can grow as spread out as an entire forest!
Now, one question I was thinking was why would the fruiting bodies of the mushroom cap have pores? Pores are just simply indents on the surface of the mushroom, right? Yeah, they are! But they can do various things, if you think about it. Pores are a great way to create shade, maybe some parts of the mushroom cap is more sensitive to sunlight and those indents help create necessary protection. Or maybe the pores are good air zones, where gas exchange occurs. Indents are a great way to trap air and obtain resources from the air, like oxygen! Or maybe the pores act like fluid collectors, where they collect raindrops. I mean water is pretty important to stay hydrated!
Finally, the way I prepared my slides was pretty mediocre. I used my long fingernails to peel the sticky tapes off and put on the paper. Then I used a needle to shave off an area of the mushroom and gently pushed that shaved off area onto the sticky tape. Then used my fingernails to grab another tape to put on top. I first put the tape on one side then rolled the taped to the other side to prevent bubbles.