Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Marines!

"Happy 234th birthday," to the United States Marine Corps! Semper Fi!

Today, around the world Marines pause to remember the past and celebrate the present. Depending on their location, their celebration may be elaborate or spartan, last well into the night or exist only long enough to acknowledge the date. However, no matter its form, today's birthday will unify men and women of all backgrounds, active duty and otherwise, under the banner of United States Marine.

The birthday cakes may look rather plain (think MREs) in some remote and hostile sites, but there will be something representing cake. What we are certain of is that the cake won't look anything like the fungus growing outside of the classroom at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest. Although the Sparassis spathulata is edible, it must be cooked slowly and the younger the better. This is a species that grows in the eastern United States under Virginia pines and other pine/hardwood sites. Today's rain will undoubtedly encourage more fungus to send forth their fruiting bodies. We hope to add some additional species to our list!

Did you hear the one about the Marine at the birthday party? He was a fungi to have around!

Image by Mary Wheeler

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