Saturday, November 13, 2010

November "Cycling"

There's not typically much left in bloom by this late in the year, but that doesn't mean there are no interesting plants to discover and this example is especially appropriate for November: the turkey tail fungus.

Turkey Tail or Trametes versicoloris is a common bracket fungus. It has no stalk, unlike a mushroom and is leathery to the touch.

But the most distinctive feature are the fan-shaped fruiting bodies with the same kind of concentric banding and roughly the same palette of colors as an actual turkey’s tail, but the fungal tails are far smaller, ranging from less than an inch to three inches across. Plus, no two are alike: there are softly banded ones and others with startlingly bold, contrasting colors in their bands. White, all the shades of brown and gray imaginable, plus brownish reds, oranges, and purples are possibilities; the variability is attributed to both a fungus’s genetic makeup and its environment.

Turkey tails are among the most common and most beautiful fungi in the woods. Often they fruit prolifically, completely covering a stump or downed tree trunk.

Here's my inspiration photo, taken during a walk in the autumn woods:

This piece has a lot of dimension and depth, as each cup is attached only on it's inner edge. I wasn't able to find the range of colors I needed in the darker palette of the inspiration photo, but I was able to recreate the bands of colors using beads in a variety of colors, finishes and sizes.


  1. This is so cool!! I love it. Great inspiration photo to use - I think it looks better in beads than in the original :)

  2. i agree with carol. so beautiful. i love beads.

  3. Wow!! I immediately knew what it was!!

  4. Oh WOW is what popped out of my mouth when I clicked your link on the BJP 2011 blog!!
    Very inspiring.