Friday, March 27, 2009

Scarecrow And Fungus

As I was sitting out on the back patio, enjoying my book and the cool, fresh evening air, K wondered aloud what those orange blobs on the cedar tree were. Being the expert botanist that I am, I said, "I thought they were, like, the cones or something." Being an actual botany expert, K replied that, no, cedar cones are a normal brown color. So we went in for a closer look. Upon inspection, the blobs turned out to be dark brown pods with orange tendrils growing from them. Again, with my expansive tree knowledge, I suggested that they were seed pods. K suppressed a sigh and said, no, look how they surround the limbs, it's like some sort of tumor.

She said the word "tumor" just as my fingers touched the orange outgrowth. I don't know if it was the word or the surpassingly creepy, wet-rubbery feel of the alleged plant life, but a bone-deep chill ran throughout my body and, even now, I can't think about it without feeling bile rise in the back of my throat. I tried to go back and read, but I could see those (shudder) tumors dangling overhead - okay, overhead and 20 yards away - and I couldn't concentrate on my book.

Thankfully, the trauma was brief. I'd completely forgotten about the diseased cedar when K popped up online this morning to inform me that she'd discovered that the growth on the tree was actually a fungus called "Cedar-Apple Rust." Great. Fungus. Even grosser. Although this name does not do it justice. It should be called something like "Necrotic Sponge-Filth of Evil."

I'm not sure I can ever spend time in the backyard without imagining those squishy little fungus-fingers reaching toward me. It just may be the most disgusting thing found in nature. I suspect it may actually be why the last owners moved.

Just look. I dare you.

4 comments:

Sassy Molassy said...

Actually I said that cedats don't have cones, they make there really pretty greenish-lavenderish balls, but ok...

And the description of the fungus also uses the word "tumor," so you can stick with that if it makes you feel better.

Stacey Greenberg said...

i shudder to think what would happen if you stepped inside the old forest!

RJA said...

I saw a dude in scrubs and one in a Member's Only jacket step into the Old Forest a couple days ago. I shudder to think ...

The Jillybean said...

If you have any fruit trees that fungus will spread to them and infect them.