Black Friday will now be known to me as Bioluminescent Friday!
Making a point not to shop, I went out hiking with family and friends. I didn’t even have my proper camera with me but I did have my little iPhone 4 and I just could’t resist taking pictures every now and then, like these shots of the sun setting over a hillside of ferns. I could barely see what I was doing with the sun in my eyes and the tiny screen. I wasn’t sure they’d even be in focus.
When I uploaded the photos to my computer I could see this funny glowing bit of green showing up in my shots. It wasn’t a lens flare from the sun and we don’t have fireflies out this way (that I’m aware of, even if we did it was too cold). The green wasn’t only appearing in one place, so it meant it was either moving or there were several of these things.
I enlarged some details and posted the shots of Facebook, wondering if anyone knew what this could be, and right away novelist Ami McKay recognized it from her childhood as being foxfire, the bioluminescence created by certain fungus. I had no idea there even was such a thing! It’s also called fairy fire!
Looking it up online, the ghost fungus, seen below, apparently grows here and it looks like it could be the one my pictures!
I’m looking forward to getting back out into the woods and tracking it down. What an amazing world this is, full of unseen wonder all around us!
Nature is so fantastic! My degree is in biology (actually microbiology) so I love this kind of thing. Nowadays I give my grandkids informal science lessons and we just did one on bioluminescence. I’ll show them your photos.
Too bad we don’t have fireflies here in CA, but we do have quite a few marine organisms that glow ( :