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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Glowing wood (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gsidhe
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Michigan
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So this last weekend, I was out camping in Manistique National Forest, central northern Michigan, I am walking through the woods a little after midnight with my seven year old daughter.
She stops and looks down at the ground next to the path. Faintly in the darkness, we see a green glow. Not a single point like a firefly, but a patch on the ground at least six inches accross. I turn a flashlight on the spot, and all I can see is a dry, rotted out tree stump. I turn out the light and it is glowing. I turn on the light again, find a piece or two of the tree that used to be attached to the now glowing stump...And they are glowing too.
I checked on the stump for three nights in a row, well after midnight, still glowing. So it is definately something alive (Or radioactive!!), not just something that charges up in the sunlight or anything like that. I asked a couple of locals about it, and they told me they find it all the time, and that it is some sort of mold or fungus.
Has anyone ever ran into this stuff before? Do you know what it is?

And how can I keep it alive?
I have ideas...
Gwyd
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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Do the Google! Cool stuff!
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gsidhe
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Michigan
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Foxfire!!!
Thank you Doug and Thank you Google!!
I had forgotten about that stuff! Read about it as a kid, but never saw it until this weekend!
Sweet...
Gwyd
The Village Idiots
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Orlando
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Can you keep it alive?
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
gsidhe
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Michigan
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I haven't found anything that tells how to keep it alive yet...But the glow time as is, is about 2-3 weeks.
I need to find out how to grow this stuff...
Gwyd
Doug Higley
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It can be simulated....
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DavidEscapes
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Apparently, it was used (on Ben Franklins advice) to light early submarines, so it must be possible to cultivate it.
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juggling1
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Las Vegas
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Foxfire grows all over West Virgina thers actually a Rv park down the road from me named after it where I perform for famiy picknecks reguarly but I really don't know mch about it intersting ? though. I think it had something to do with Roswell!
Stephon
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Maryland, USA
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Totally misunderstood the topic name--

I thought it was about an affliction of male porn actors who lived near nuclear reactors.
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jeremysweiss
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There are many species of glow-in-the dark fungi.

1) Armillariella Mellea (page 196 of David Aurora's classic text, Mushrooms Demystified--one of my favorite, very funny books) aka the Honey Mushroom. "It is a virulent parasite of timber, fruit and gardent trees but can also be a harmless saprophyte on dead trees or on the dead wood (heart wood) of living trees. It is called "oak rott fungus" in California because of its insatiable appetite for oaks, and "shoe string root rot" because of the stringy black mycelial strands (zhizomorphs) by which the mnycelium spreads. These "runners" may extend up the host's trunk or infect neigboring trees by traversing great distances through the soil......Actively growing mycelium may phosphorece at night, giving the wood an eerie luminous aura called foxfire. Inhabitants of subartic regions are said to mark their trails with bits of glowing wood infected by A. Mella."

2) Jack-O-Lanterns (Page 146) are the Omphalotus family. "These are brightly colored agarics with a fleshy stem and decurrent gills that often glow in the dark. Their luminescence is best seen by sitting alone in a dark closet while eating a grilled cheese sandwich. Unless you are a voracious eater, this method helps combat boredom while allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness. After e few minutes an eerie silvery-green glow will become visible, growing gradually brighter wiht each bite (of the grilled cheese sandwich) until each gill is clearly outlined. Fresh, actively-sporulating specimins glow brightest, but even they will not always cooperate.

In my experience, keeping the fungus in a dark, cool, humid place will keep it alive for quite a time. Keep it damp. However, as will all living things, will eventually succumb.

Ahhh, finally another interest of mine intersects.....

But...I didn't think this was BIOLOGY Café...I thought it was The Magic Café....
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