Elf Cups (Sarcoscypha coccinea)

When I saw signs the owner of the land next to ours is plannning to log it, we made an offer on 20 acres to try to build a better buffer. I’ve been walking it every day just to get a feel for it, and there was a riot of elf cups coming up yesterday. It’s been warm and we had rain recently. Shouldn’t be long before there’s fungi everywhere. Can’t wait.

There are intermittent streams on the north and south ends of the land, separated by a ridge that rises up to where Innisfree and Dove Cottage sit. These late afternoon hikes have been a great way to rehab my knee, though some of the terrain is pretty challenging, and they’re an even better way to clear my head after sitting in front of the computer most of the day. The forest has been over-logged, and it’s now dominated by beech, maple, and chestnut oak, though there are some nice hickories in there, including several shagbark, and a few young oaks. There’s also a large whitetail population. I scared several up yesterday during my hike. Part of the land I’m hoping to buy is leased to a hunting club, and there’s a deer stand on it. Someone’s been cutting the grape vine that’s strangling trees along the stream beds, though I’m not certain if that’s the hunters or the land owners trying to maximize their timber crop. The guy renting Dove Cottage also has a deer stand down in the south hollow. His game cam turned up some beautiful bucks in that spot, but he didn’t manage to take any during deer season this year.

I pulled this up out of the leaf litter to see where the elf cup was rooted. Plenty of decaying branches along the stream to host them.

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