Monday, September 05, 2011

the lovely green-stain fungus

September is National Mushroom Month and it's starting off with a bang here in the north woods.   While my patch of woods doesn't produce much in the way of mushrooms in the spring, it is abundant in fall.  This weekend I took over a hundred photos of mushrooms, ate mushrooms, and dyed with mushrooms.  I figured as my tribute to favorite forest floor-dweller, this week my blog posts will all include something fungal.  (like they don't usually...)

Today I'll show you the green-stain fungus.

These little cup fungi discolor their wood host, leaving it with streaks of teal green.  I usually spot the green wood but rarely get to see the actual fungus responsible for it.  This weekend though I saw it in several spots in the woods, which was pretty exciting.

I began collecting bits of this lovely green wood a few years ago and tried dyeing wool with it, unsuccessfully.  I then read that woodworkers have prized the green-stained wood for centuries, using it in detailed inlay work, and was intrigued.  The wood I had found was really decayed and soft, unusable for woodworking, but I still kept collecting bits as I found them just because I think they're pretty, and I'm a magpie.

One day I found a piece that wasn't decayed and I nearly jumped for joy.  I picked up the piece and literally went directly to the saw and started cutting.  What emerged were some small pieces for some natural-dyer friends of mine, including this little pendant.

Thank you Sonia, for the photos!

I have a small amount of this wood left and I hope to make a few more pieces from it.
In the meantime, I'll keep picking up pieces of green, just in case.

Have a great week, everyone.  Happy Labor Day to my friends in the US.


Anonymous said...

these are totally amazing, I had never seen something like that before ! I wonder if similar kinds grow over here ...
you're welcome for the photos, sorry for the delay.
I can imagine that woodworkers worked this stained wood, it's so spectacular & special !!
enjoy Labor day & good luck for tomorrow & the babes
big hugs from aunt Z

Terriea Kwong said...

Amazing color of blue. So pretty as well the pendant.

Tumus said...

I am curious why you have more fungi in Fall than Spring since Springs are usually more wet. Does the teal streak ever get brighter the longer the fungus stays on the wood?

Janelle said...

Wow! Serendipity strikes again. I spent two days in the woods here in New England this weekend and became really interested in this "blue" wood. I was going to look it up and then I found your post in my mailbox! Lovely pendant.

We saw so many beautiful fungi: purple, red, white, green, black. I love this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen anything like that! what a fantastic color in nature. Beautiful, special pendants, too.

Margie Oomen said...

it really is spectacular
i am going to be on the hunt for some in the woods
i think i know just how to get the color out of the wood for dyeing.

kristin said...

i'm always learning something new from you Lisa!! thanks for the fungi lessons. big school day for you tomorrow, right? i still can't get over the long bus ride. i wish all your boys well on the first day. xx

k said...

the necklace is just gorgeous - a beautiful use for the wood. and i both thank you and curse you for all the mushroom pics - it would seem after a wet summer we could be in a for a hot, dry fall, not so good for fungi bursting forth.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Sonia - I'm sure they grow by you somewhere. Maybe you'll look down and find some one day.

Terrie - thanks!

R - I don't know why we have so few mushrooms in spring. Our snow hangs around for a long time and we tend to go straight from winter into summer, maybe that's part of it. Some pieces are slightly more teal than others but I haven't seen any major differences here.

Janelle - how funny! Mushrooms are so fascinating, aren't they?

girlunwinding - thanks so much.

Margie - does it involve Polish drinks? ;)

kristin - thanks!

k - I'll do a little rain dance for you, I hope it helps.

sparkleize said...

I enjoyed all the interesting mushrooms you showed us this week and how you used them for dyeing items and in your soup. Loved the color of pink you got from the lobster mushroom and that soup sounds so yummy. Now you have me looking for mushrooms everywhere around me. And found some pretty ones on an old bench out back growing attached to it. They are orangy yellow around the outside ring area and the inside area is brown. colorful on my blue bench. I love to eat mushrooms just about any way you can fix them up, they are all wonderful!!!! Love that you share all your information with all of us!!!! Thank you, sparkleize


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