Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor – is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world.
Meaning ‘of several colors’, versicolor reliably describes this fungus that displays a variety of colors. For example, because its shape and multiple colors are similar to those of a wild turkey, T. versicolor is commonly called turkey tail.
Found on a rotting Hemlock stump, Fillmore Glen State Park Moravia, Cayuga County, New York.
Polypores are a group of fungi that form large fruiting bodies with pores or tubes on the underside (see Delimitation for exceptions). They are a morphological group of basidiomycetes-like gilled mushrooms and hydnoid fungi, and not all polypores are closely related to each other.
Polypores are also called bracket fungi or shelf fungi, and they characteristically produce woody, shelf- or bracket-shaped or occasionally circular fruiting bodies that are called conks.
Most polypores inhabit tree trunks or branches consuming the wood, but some soil-inhabiting species form mycorrhiza with trees. Polypores and the related corticioid fungi are the most important agents of wood decay, playing a very significant role in nutrient cycling and aiding carbon dioxide absorption by forest ecosystems.
My dear wife Pam is the heart of Christmas in our home. Over the years we have collected a treasure of ornaments and knick-knacks she crafts into displays around our home. Pam completed the project well in advance of our grandchild holiday visits, before card writing and gift wrapping.
My contribution is a photographic time capsule. Here is some of my artistic output from this work.
This grouping of five cozy snowmen (three males, two females) are warmly dressed in knit sweaters and stocking caps; the women with long skirts. The five hold hands in a ring, rising from a common platform. We place a cup and devotional candle in the center.
The tiny group evokes community, harmony, amity. I captured them with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III dslr, a fixed Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens mounted on a Manfrotto studio tripod and hydrostatic ball head. Fixed lenses provide the sharpest macros. The mounting allowed precise framing and use of the widest aperture and a low ISO. The light sources were sunlight from a large north facing bay window, a Canon Speedlite 600Ex-Rt and the candle. When used, the flash was angled in various ways toward the ceiling.
I start with a tight shot, maximum aperture. A single figure is in clear focus, the remaining gradually lost in the bokeh. The flash was used. I can almost see then circling around the candle in a winter wind.
Here the candle is lighted, aperture narrow to f8 using only the candle and ambient light (no flash). The group is visible within surrounding figures. I backed away and the viewpoint is higher.
The candle light enhances the perception of community.
Viewpoint is closer, still only the candle and ambient light. Aperture widened to 3.5. I must remove the hair in lightroom.
I backed off, aperture at the max with only the candle and ambient light. The figures are placed in a tableau with other snowmen and a structure, a birdhouse.
For this overview I swapped in a Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM with a flash, aperture f2.2.
Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved
This is part of my project to document our Christmas memories through photography. Here we explore the Irish and Ireland themes of our decorated Christmas Tree.
Where would we be without Saint Patrick? He was a force, to be sure. A favorite story, is the landing of his return to the island 432 AD. The tides on the eastern coast of the Irish Sea can be strong. His plan was to sail up to coast further north than what we call today Strangford Lough. On passing this inlet the boat was swept into the lough tidal narrows. Circumstances called for a landing, rather than wait for the tide. Patrick came ashore where the Slaney River enter the lough and “quickly converted” the local chieftan, Dichu, who provided a barn for holding services. The name of the town “Saul” in Irish is Sabhall Phádraig, translated as “Patrick’s Barn.”
In this posting I’ll go lighter on descriptions of technique. Leave it to say I held to the Canon fixed lens EF 50mm f1.2L USM throughout. Some, like the photograph of Saint Patrick, used a tripod. Others, like the latter two of the following Irish Themed Cross set were handheld. Generally a flash was used to supplement ambient sunlight from a large north-facing bay window.
Here the “celtic” cross is converted to an Irish theme through a substitution of a shamrock with golden decoration inspired by pagan neolithic petroglyphs for the nimbus (circle) intersecting the central intersection of arms and stem.
For the first three I played with aperture, taking advantage of the stability of a tripod. The final two of the set are handheld.
Note the fanciful leprechaun snowman with pot o’ gold, on the left.
Blown glass Irish dancers.
the suitcase for our 2014 tour of the island and re-connection with family. Also a symbol of our ancestors travel across the Atlantic ocean to North America.
Three species of the genus Cotinus, commonly called “Smoke Tree,”in the family Anacardiaceae exist in North America, Europe and Asia. Ours is more like a shrub with numerous, long branches. Flowers with profuse filaments in clusters resembling whiffs of smoke. Here we see the flower filaments, interspersed with small drupes, each containing a single seed.
The post header, and these photographs were made from the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Canon Lens EF 50mm f/1.2L USM stabilized with a Manfrotto 468ZMZ tripod with hydrostatic head. Late afternoons, evenings the tree is shaded by a hemlock hedge (line of trees running north/south) this is the shade here. This Canonn dslr excels in color rendition. The flower masses are a burgundy wine color, the leaves have a purple tinge. I do not directly fertilize, as the plant is said to do best with unfertile soil though the surrounding cedars do get fertilizer stakes.
Eight AM a following morning I followed up with a handheld session using a Sony DSLR-Alpha700, Sony Lens DT 18-200 mm F3.5-6.5. Took these two shots with a lower ISO and tweaked the images in Lightroom, reducing the exposure. The flower smoky effect is well captured, the color in bright sunlight is not as wine-like as in shade.
By the time I proceeded to macros, a morning breeze kicked up, handled by upping the ISO to 3200 for a faster shutter speed to stop the movement. The bright sun helped with this.
Fertilized flowers develop into fruit stalks with radiating filaments, the yellow dots are the drupes (fleshy bodies surrounding a single seed). Fresh leaves are purple, turning to dark green with age. The leaves are as unusual as the flowers: aromatic, simple and round on long stalks. Autumn, the leaves turn a stunning bright red-orange, a scarlet shade. In winter some stalks die off, new growth appears from the roots in spring.
“The Botanical Garden Vol 1 Trees and Shrubs”, Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix, Firefly Books, Buffalo NY, 2000, p 361
Wikipedia, “Smoke Tree”
Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved