Chicken Of The Woods
Some of you may know that besides being an author, I am also an amateur photographer with a fascination for the natural world, the world as it exists without human beings or civilization and, in some cases, in spite of it. So, I was really excited when driving through my neighborhood, to spot an urban anomaly. Two bright growths on a neighbor’s tree, known as Sulfur Shelf Mushrooms or Chicken of the Woods, so named because they are thought to taste like chicken. Sadly, after a little researching I found that the mushroom’s presence on the live tree marks its doom. The colorful and sometime edible growth of fungus brings about “brown rot” which is fatal to the tree.
I returned twice to get photos of the mushrooms. A gardener responsible for several of that neighborhood’s yards was present during one of my visits. He told about another tree on the same block that had hosted Sulfur Shelf mushrooms. The tree died the following year. Fascinating how nature works.
As for the mushrooms, I was sorely tempted to harvest them for my own kitchen before the gardener destroyed them, but I couldn’t identify the tree they were growing on. I had read a warning about avoiding those growing on conifers and a few other species. I knew the tree wasn’t a conifer but I thought it best not to chance it.
Until next time,
K. L. Parry
Author of ~THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER AND A KING’S RANSOM
A swashbuckling adventure of betrayal, deceit and intrigue. Available on Amazon