Saturday, May 17, 2014

Nicholdale Farm, Shelton

Cedar Apple Rust Fungus
Just a few quick shots from the Nicholdale Farm Land Trust property today in Shelton. Near the entrance are several specimen red cedar trees that were just covered in these decorative fungi today. 

I love how easy it can be to identify things sometimes with the Internet. I just Googled, "orange fungus red cedar" and had an ID within a few seconds. Beats paging through identification keys.

The fungus lives in galls that suddenly sprout orange "spore horns" (seriously) in spring after a cool rain. Boy did they ever. The fungus is unusual in that in needs two host species: apple and cedar. And yes, there are lots of apple trees nearby.  

Box Turtle
Heading south of the Land Trust property along the gas pipeline, I walked over a box turtle possibly just sunning himself. The red eyes mean it's a male, and based on the the number of rings on the shell he's about 15 years old. Box Turtles in the wild usually live 20 or 25 years, but in captivity they can last much longer. I hope this guy is able to stay out of trouble for many years to come.

I took a photo of his underside in case anyone catches him again. You can use the markings to help identify individual turtles. Let's call this one Ted. Ted the Turtle. If anyone spots him in the future, take a picture of a belly and let me know. 


Anonymous said...

does the rust fungus damage the trees?

Teresa said...

Sojourner - Yes, the fungus causes serious damage to orchards. Don't know if it causes any real damage to the red cedars. Most people don't plant them as ornamentals, so it could be that no one really cares. But the big cedars where I saw these looked great.