poetry and prose about place

bracket fungi

with one comment

On a drive last weekend, we saw this great example of bracket fungi growing on an old maple.



Bracket fungi belong to a group of fungi called polypores. These produce the characteristic spore-producing bodies called conks. The shelf-shaped or bracket-shaped conks are a reproductive outgrowth of the main fungal body called the mycelium. As with all fungi, the mycelium is mostly unseen since it resides in wood or soil.


Polypores are a significant part of the forest ecosystem because they are agents of wood decay. These fungi are efficient decomposers of lignin and cellulose.



On a more fanciful note, the brackets of these fungi always remind me of ‘faerie stairs’, a way to ascend an ancient tree.


bracket fungi


in this forest




could any form

construe to magic?


fairy rings

moths in spectral flight

spider webs, witches brooms

burrows and subterranean

rooms, hollows in wizened

logs, red toadstools

white-spotted, mottled



bracket fungi

steps ascending

a branchless tree


(Previously published October 28, 2011 )



All my best,


Written by jane tims

July 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

One Response

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  1. Love the idea of fairy stairs!


    Barbara Rodgers

    July 17, 2018 at 7:38 am

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