03.18.2020-2 Tinder Conks on a Fallen Birch

Also known as Hoof Conks, Fomes fomentarius is a polypore fungus that lives up to its name…or got its name because it can hold a burning coal inside the pores on the underside for hours and be used to start a fire.  It has started fires for thousands of years and was found in a pouch carried by the 5000 year old “Ice Man” discovered in 1991 in the Alps. As I don’t forage for food, I guess I don’t forage for a fire starter either, at least not a living mushroom.

That is Amethyst Brook below, which will show up in tomorrow’s blog.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Fungi, macro photography, Mushrooms, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to 03.18.2020-2 Tinder Conks on a Fallen Birch

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Interesting factoid of a useful tool of paleo cultures. We may need such again one day!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have seen (and admired) them, but had no idea about their human use. I learned something new today, thanks to you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. melissabluefineart says:

    Me too~that is so cool! And I love the photo, with the water just suggested there below.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bluebrightly says:

    What an excellent photograph, with the subdued colors and nice textures. The conks really draw the eye. And again, I enjoyed the narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting and lovely capture of this group with all those lines and colors.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres says:

    I really had to begin at ground zero with this one. The very phrase “tinder conk” just didn’t make sense to me, partly because I’ve never come across ‘conk’ as anything other than a verb, and I was imagining Neanderthal’s conking one another with mushrooms!

    Now, I have all that sorted out. They do look like hooves, and in fact when I went to the Wiki to read more about this species, they mentioned the resemblance. The colors are great. The best part is that I think a mysterious ‘something’ I found in the woods is a polypore. It was big, and obviously old, and growing straight out from the trunk of a tree, like a shelf. I’d never seen anything like it. Thanks to you, I have a place to start in identifying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they are also called shelf fungi. Maybe I’ve helped you become a mushroom fan. They are fantastic photography subjects. They don’t move and unless found on a tree don’t even tremble in the wind. Wel, there are some whose stalks are spindly and would tremble but most don’t and are ideal models. 🙂
      I love the visual of the Neanderthals. Your saying that reminded me of this Python skit.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. eremophila says:

    Thanks for great image and information on it Steve, now I’m a little wiser. And maybe they are not the work of a disgruntled pixie😁

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave Ply says:

    That puts a whole new spin on the idea of hot pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

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