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Bird's Nest fungi

Bird's Nest fungi
Photo Information
Copyright: John Denk (jpdenk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 3 N: 74] (333)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-07-30
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Nikon D90, 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor
Exposure: f/22, 2 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mushrooms and Slime Molds of the Chicago Region [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-07-30 15:54
Viewed: 6396
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Some attractive, little wood-rotting fungi, Cyathus striatus, found around the world in temperate forests. The "eggs" are packets of spores, and they're distributed when a raindrop lands in the "nest" and splashes it out.

Locally we've had an extremely hot month of July, and until a week ago, almost no rain. A week ago we had very heavy rains, and now the mushrooms are beginning to respond. These are some of the first ones that have shown up in the woods near my home.

I put my camera on a tripod and used a wired remote shutter release to get this shot at f/22, 2 second exposure. I shot using aperture priority.

Information from Michael Kuo's wonderful Mushroomexpert.com site:

This striking Bird's Nest Fungus is easily recognized by its shaggy to hairy exterior and its grooved interior--or at least these features will serve to identify it in temperate North America. In tropical and subtropical areas, several confusingly similar species can be found; see the Key to the Nidulariaceae in North America for help sorting them out.

According to bird's nest fungus authority Harold Brodie (1975), many forms of Cyathus striatus can be found in North America, ranging from pale to dark, and varying significantly in size. It is found almost exclusively in woods, though it sometimes occurs in woodchips.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously on forest debris in open woods, but almost never terrestrial; sometimes on woodchips; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.

Nest: Typically 7-10 mm high and 6-8 mm wide, but variable in size; vase-shaped; outer surface grayish buff to dark brown, shaggy to woolly, with tufts of hairs; inner surface distinctly grooved or lined (otherwise smooth) and shiny; "lid" typically white, disappearing with maturity.

Eggs: To 2 mm wide; often roughly triangular; sheathed; attached to the nest by cords.

Microscopic Features: Spores 15-20 x 8-12 µ; smooth; elliptical; notched.

vasko1233, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To tuslaw: Thanksjpdenk 1 08-01 20:25
To Hormon_Manyer: Thanksjpdenk 1 07-31 09:55
To vasko1233: Thanksjpdenk 1 07-31 09:55
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Critiques [Translate]

very interesting fungi and a very beautiful shot

Excellent!!! I'm glad you returned to the site. I'd totally crop the halfly cropped specimen in the top left, otherwise a No. 1. image. Huge congrats John.
Best regards, László

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-08-01 19:51]
  • [+]

Hello John,
I just got my computer back from the shop tonight, so this is the first I've been on line for a week and a half. I see you have posted some outstanding shots as of lately.
Love this image of the Birds Nest Fungi!! I have never seen this particular type which seems to be growing in a hairy acorn like casing. I do have a similiar type that always appears in our mulch every year.
Very attractive vertical composition with exceptional detail and perfect exposure. The colors are vivid and natural and you achieved super DOF using an f/22 aperture.
Awesome shot!!!

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