Good Garden https://goodgarden.nz/ Decomposition Diary en-us Tue, 24 May 2022 09:05:31 +1200 Tue, 24 May 2022 09:05:31 +1200 Friendly fungi announce themselves to their hosts https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/friendly-fungi-announce-themselves-to-their-hosts Thu, 19 May 2022 08:31:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/friendly-fungi-announce-themselves-to-their-hosts Many people are familiar with the concept of probiotics, or "good" bacteria. Scientists also have learned that fungi can do good for people, including sometimes replacing bacteria in the commensal state and performing similar beneficial functions.


Cont. Science Daily

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Harwoods Hole, Tākaka Hill, Abel Tasman National Park https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/harwoods-hole-tākaka-hill-abel-tasman-national-park Thu, 12 May 2022 15:31:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/harwoods-hole-tākaka-hill-abel-tasman-national-park There's nothing quite like mountain beech / tawhairauriki forest in autumn. The mycorrhizal relationship present in these unique forests form some of the most visually stunning fungi.

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The humble hessian sack meets mycelium https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-humble-hessian-sack-meets-mycelium Tue, 26 Apr 2022 16:07:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-humble-hessian-sack-meets-mycelium Hessian sacks are by far my favourite free resource. I get them by the boot load from a large local coffee importer and roaster, they have become my go to fungi feeding, moisture retaining weed mat.

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Spatial distribution of pores helps determine where carbon is stored in the soil https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/spatial-distribution-of-pores-helps-determine-where-carbon-is-stored-in-the-soil Fri, 22 Apr 2022 18:02:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/spatial-distribution-of-pores-helps-determine-where-carbon-is-stored-in-the-soil Soils store more carbon than all the vegetation on the Earth's surface. However, there are still many unanswered questions about precisely which processes favour accumulation in the soil. Soil scientists have now developed a new method to show where and under what conditions carbon is stored in the soil. It turns out, it is primarily the network of soil pores that controls the spatial distribution of carbon.


Cont. Science Daily

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Isaria sinclairii https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/isaria-sinclairii Tue, 12 Apr 2022 17:38:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/isaria-sinclairii Isaria sinclairii is a species of entomopathogenic fungus mostly infecting the underground nymphs of cicadas. It produces myriocin, from which the synthetic drug fingolimod, a treatment for multiple sclerosis, was developed.

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Language of fungi derived from their electrical spiking activity https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/language-of-fungi-derived-from-their-electrical-spiking-activity Thu, 07 Apr 2022 07:42:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/language-of-fungi-derived-from-their-electrical-spiking-activity Fungi exhibit oscillations of extracellular electrical potential recorded via differential electrodes inserted into a substrate colonized by mycelium or directly into sporocarps.


Cont. Royal Society Publishing

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Raupeka / Earina autumnalis / Easter orchid https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/raupeka-earina-autumnalis-easter-orchid Mon, 14 Mar 2022 14:30:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/raupeka-earina-autumnalis-easter-orchid An epiphytic orchid with matted roots, broad leaves and strongly scented white flowers in the Autumn. This specimen was found on a fallen tānekaha trunk.

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Rō / Orthodera novaezealandiae / New Zealand mantis https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/rō-orthodera-novaezealandiae-new-zealand-mantis Tue, 08 Mar 2022 19:10:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/rō-orthodera-novaezealandiae-new-zealand-mantis This endemic species is easily identifiable by the bright blue dot on the forelimbs and the yellowish hue of the upper forelimbs. Sadly this garden friends numbers are in decline as Miomantis caffra, the introduced South African species becomes more and more entrenched here.

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Waiū atua or Waiū o Kahukura / Euphorbia glauca https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/waiū-atua-or-waiū-o-kahukura-euphorbia-glauca Mon, 28 Feb 2022 08:44:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/waiū-atua-or-waiū-o-kahukura-euphorbia-glauca I let our endemic Euphorbia fill all the spaces that common milkweed would usually inhabit. It has also been speculated that the milky sap could have positive effects for some skin ailments.

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The future is fungi https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-future-is-fungi Sat, 26 Feb 2022 07:30:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-future-is-fungi Fungi are sentient, without thought; sophisticated, without cognition. It’s a fungal world, we’re just living in it.


Cont. Australian Geographic

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Mycorrhizal fungi promote greater tree species diversity https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/mycorrhizal-fungi-promote-greater-tree-species-diversity Fri, 25 Feb 2022 16:49:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/mycorrhizal-fungi-promote-greater-tree-species-diversity Fungi, specifically those that are "mycorrhizal," are natural allies of the forest because they improve tree nutrient acquisition. But which of the mycorrhizal feeding strategies yields the greatest tree diversity in a forest: strategy A (ectomycorrhiza) or strategy B (arbuscular mycorrhiza)?


Cont. Science Daily

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Raupeti or Remuroa / Solanum nodiflorum / Small-flowered nightshade https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/raupeti-or-remuroa-solanum-nodiflorum-small-flowered-nightshade Wed, 23 Feb 2022 13:09:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/raupeti-or-remuroa-solanum-nodiflorum-small-flowered-nightshade In my experience a lot of people mistake this little native edible as deadly nightshade (of which we have very little here in NZ) and as such it's often on the receiving end of a heavy dowsing of glyphosate. This is a real shame because not only are the leaves edible but so are the ripe fruit!

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Beauveria bassiana meets mūmū chafer https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/beauveria-bassiana-meets-mūmū-chafer Sat, 12 Feb 2022 12:22:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/beauveria-bassiana-meets-mūmū-chafer Found on the forest floor in the Kaimai Mamaku.

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Root symbiosis is regulated through nutrient status of plants https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/root-symbiosis-is-regulated-through-nutrient-status-of-plants Tue, 08 Feb 2022 09:08:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/root-symbiosis-is-regulated-through-nutrient-status-of-plants Phosphorus is one of the most important nutrients for plants. Among other functions, it is needed to create substances for the plant's immune system, for the healthy development of seeds and for root growth. Researchers have now demonstrated how a root symbiosis with fungi is driven at the molecular level by the plant's phosphate status.


Cont. sciencedaily.com

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Kareao / Ripogonum scandens / Supplejack, the delicous bush snack https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/kareao-ripogonum-scandens-supplejack-the-delicous-bush-snack Sat, 05 Feb 2022 20:34:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/kareao-ripogonum-scandens-supplejack-the-delicous-bush-snack Synonymous with NZ bush, this vine is the gift that keeps on giving (unless you're trying to get through a thick patch of its entanglement). The bright red berries are sure to catch your eyes if they're present in lower canopies and are entirely edible (excluding the hard spotted seed). In the wild the berry contains a large spotted seed and a thin layer of delicious flesh that tastes refreshingly like something between an apple and watermelon.

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Rakiura National Park https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/rakiura-national-park Sun, 26 Dec 2021 13:17:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/rakiura-national-park It probably shouldn’t surprise me that the anchor island of our nation has solidified so many of the ephemeral thoughts and feelings I’ve been having recently.

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The Hitchhiker’s guide to the soil https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-soil Fri, 24 Dec 2021 09:14:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-soil The interaction of fungi and bacteria in the transport of viruses in the soil ecosystem has been examined by a UFZ research team in a study recently published in the journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology. The scientists showed a novel mechanism of viral transport by bacterial shuttles traveling along fungal hyphae. Bacteria thereby benefit from taking along viruses on the conquest of new habitats.


Cont. sciencedaily.com

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Grifola colensoi https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/grifola-colensoi Mon, 20 Dec 2021 10:01:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/grifola-colensoi Grifola is a genus of fungi in the family Meripilaceae, which includes some edible fungi such as Grifola frondosa, commonly known as hen-of-the-woods (or Maitake in Japan); not to be confused with Laetiporus sulphureus, known among English speakers as chicken of the woods. The genus was circumscribed by Samuel Frederick Gray in 1821.

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Unknown species https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/unknown-species Sun, 19 Dec 2021 14:26:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/unknown-species Not 100% on this identification. This specimen was found on rotting log in the Mount Aspiring National Park.

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Calyptella totara https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/calyptella-totara Sat, 18 Dec 2021 07:04:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/calyptella-totara Bugs are evolving to eat plastic https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/bugs-are-evolving-to-eat-plastic Fri, 17 Dec 2021 06:47:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/bugs-are-evolving-to-eat-plastic Canada's National Observer: Bugs are evolving to eat plastic

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Cruentomycena viscidocruenta (Ruby Bonnet) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cruentomycena-viscidocruenta-ruby-bonnet Thu, 16 Dec 2021 11:09:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cruentomycena-viscidocruenta-ruby-bonnet Cruentomycena viscidocruenta, commonly known as the ruby bonnet, is a species of agaric fungus in the family Mycenaceae. It is found in moist forested areas of Australia and New Zealand, often in small groups on rotting wood.

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Rossbeevera pachydermis (Potato fungus) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/rossbeevera-pachydermis-potato-fungus Wed, 15 Dec 2021 13:00:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/rossbeevera-pachydermis-potato-fungus Chamonixia pachydermis, is a species of fungus in the family Boletaceae, found in New Zealand. Chamonixia pachydermis is common in areas of New Zealand beech forest and is often partially buried on the ground. It has a blue discoloration and is often found in Autumn.

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Stewart Island tokoeka / Southern brown kiwi https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/stewart-island-tokoeka-southern-brown-kiwi Sat, 11 Dec 2021 09:49:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/stewart-island-tokoeka-southern-brown-kiwi Stewart Island tokoeka A. a. lawryi / Southern brown kiwi. Found close to mid day on Ulva Island, a short ferry ride from Golden Bay, Stewart Island.

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Dendrobium cunninghamii (Winika) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/dendrobium-cunninghamii-winika Sat, 11 Dec 2021 06:13:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/dendrobium-cunninghamii-winika Dendrobium cunninghamii, commonly known as winika, pekapeka, Christmas orchid, bamboo orchid or ladies slipper orchid, is a species of epiphytic orchids that is endemic to New Zealand. It is commonly found growing in rainforest in the North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands and normally flowers in summer and early autumn.

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Cyttaria gunnii (Beech orange) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cyttaria-gunnii-beech-orange Fri, 10 Dec 2021 14:48:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cyttaria-gunnii-beech-orange Cyttaria gunnii, commonly known as the myrtle orange or beech orange, is an orange-white coloured and edible ascomycete fungus native to Australia and New Zealand. It is a specific parasite of silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) trees here in New Zealand.

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Lycoperdon perlatum (Common puffball) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/lycoperdon-perlatum-common-puffball Thu, 09 Dec 2021 12:05:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/lycoperdon-perlatum-common-puffball Lycoperdon perlatum, popularly known as the common puffball, warted puffball, gem-studded puffball, wolf farts or the devil's snuff-box, is a species of puffball fungus in the family Agaricaceae.

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Coprinopsis lagopus (Hare's Foot Inkcap) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/coprinopsis-lagopus-hares-foot-inkcap Wed, 08 Dec 2021 15:12:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/coprinopsis-lagopus-hares-foot-inkcap Coprinopsis lagopus is a species of fungus in the family Psathyrellaceae. It is a delicate and short-lived fungus, the fruit bodies lasting only a few hours before dissolving into a black ink – a process called deliquescence or auto digestion.

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Guyton's garden, Riverton https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/guytons-garden-riverton Tue, 07 Dec 2021 11:46:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/guytons-garden-riverton Today was one of those special days when you get to meet your heroes.


Robert and Robyn Guyton have been tending to this piece of land for almost 30 years in Riverton. It is brimming with all kinds of life and wonderful stories of how that life came to be.

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Earthlore, insect conservation https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/earthlore-insect-conservation Sun, 05 Dec 2021 08:35:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/earthlore-insect-conservation Kokihi, native spinach pea straw mulch https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/kokihi-native-spinach-pea-straw-mulch Tue, 05 Oct 2021 07:36:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/kokihi-native-spinach-pea-straw-mulch Kokihi / NZ spinach is an incredibly versatile plant and one that I use almost everywhere.

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Lichen https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/lichen Mon, 27 Sep 2021 08:06:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/lichen A lichen is made up of at least two living things – a fungus (which cannot make its own food) and an organism that photosynthesises (makes food using sunlight), such as an alga or a cyanobacterium. Together, they form the lichen’s body.

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Walking Trees, Parasitic Flowers, and Other Remarkable Plants https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/walking-trees-parasitic-flowers-and-other-remarkable-plants Thu, 23 Sep 2021 07:08:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/walking-trees-parasitic-flowers-and-other-remarkable-plants MIT: thereader.mitpress.mit.edu

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Matilda https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/matilda Tue, 14 Sep 2021 09:47:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/matilda Two days into our latest lockdown I lost Matilda, my last and loveliest chicken. Thank you for your eggs, thank you for your fertilisation.

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Cordycipitaceae (family) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cordycipitaceae-family Sat, 11 Sep 2021 12:51:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cordycipitaceae-family More commonly known as the zombie fungus, Cordyceps infects insects, taking control of motor functions through a process that is still a mystery to science. The fungi then effectively drive the insect to an elevated location where the fruiting bodies of the fungus proceed to explode through the body of the insect, spreading millions of spores into the atmosphere.

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The fungal mind: on the evidence for mushroom intelligence https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-fungal-mind-on-the-evidence-for-mushroom-intelligence Wed, 01 Sep 2021 08:06:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/the-fungal-mind-on-the-evidence-for-mushroom-intelligence Psyche: The fungal mind: on the evidence for mushroom intelligence

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Garden survey, Maungawhau/Mt Eden https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/garden-survey-maungawhau-mt-eden Sat, 31 Jul 2021 09:58:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/garden-survey-maungawhau-mt-eden It seems appropriate to adorn this post with the mighty Puriri that serves as the matriarch over a huge swathe of the land where I live. I'm no expert at estimating the age of trees but this magnificent specimen has to be at least 300+ years old!

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Fantastic ferns https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/fantastic-ferns Wed, 28 Jul 2021 12:36:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/fantastic-ferns Fernery and Display Houses, Pukekura Park, Taranaki.

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Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/blushing-plants-reveal-when-fungi-are-growing-in-their-roots Sat, 24 Jul 2021 16:54:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/blushing-plants-reveal-when-fungi-are-growing-in-their-roots Science Daily: Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots

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Kahikatea Farm https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/kahikatea-farm Mon, 14 Jun 2021 19:38:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/kahikatea-farm Sunrise over Kahikatea Farm.

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Suillus luteus (Slippery Jack) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/suillus-luteus-slippery-jack Wed, 14 Apr 2021 12:11:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/suillus-luteus-slippery-jack Suillus luteus, found around coniferous plantations. Collected, peeled and fried for a delicious meal.

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Awakino Gorge https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/awakino-gorge Fri, 02 Apr 2021 12:18:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/awakino-gorge Ponga and tree fern in the Awakino mist.

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Hara, Hura, Cormocephalus rubriceps https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/hara-hura-cormocephalus-rubriceps Tue, 16 Feb 2021 12:32:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/hara-hura-cormocephalus-rubriceps Hara / hura in Māori, cormocephalus rubriceps, NZ giant centipede. This specimen was found in Glendowie, Auckland.

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Fish and manure soup https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/fish-and-manure-soup Sun, 17 Jan 2021 12:29:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/fish-and-manure-soup Fish frame and horse manure soup brewing for soil amendment/micro biological density explosion!

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Tecomanthe speciosa https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/tecomanthe-speciosa Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:41:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/tecomanthe-speciosa ]]> Pohutukawa https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/pohutukawa Wed, 02 Dec 2020 12:55:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/pohutukawa Pohutukawa in full Christmas bloom.

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Puriri leaf tea https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/puriri-leaf-tea Wed, 11 Nov 2020 13:28:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/puriri-leaf-tea Early every summer the mighty Puriri tree that covers half of my property sheds old leaves. A perfect primary ingredient for a soil amending soup.

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Cladonia (Pixie Cup Lichens) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cladonia-pixie-cup-lichens Wed, 05 Aug 2020 21:37:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/cladonia-pixie-cup-lichens A New Look at John Cage and His Mushroom Obsession https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/a-new-look-at-john-cage-and-his-mushroom-obsession Sun, 12 Jul 2020 16:52:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/a-new-look-at-john-cage-and-his-mushroom-obsession A New Look at John Cage and His Mushroom Obsession ]]> Physalacria stilboidea https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/physalacria-stilboidea Wed, 10 Jun 2020 13:36:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/physalacria-stilboidea Found on a decaying Kapuka/Grisellinia leaf.

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Tōtara https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/totara Thu, 16 Apr 2020 13:26:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/totara Podocarpus tōtara.

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Huia House https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/huia-house Sat, 11 Apr 2020 12:39:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/huia-house Destined for Extinction: Elam's Huia House

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Moss https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/moss Tue, 07 Apr 2020 20:27:00 +1200 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/moss In all its glory, Waitakare ranges.

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Parataniwha (Elatostema rugosum) https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/parataniwha-elatostema-rugosum Fri, 03 Apr 2020 21:45:00 +1300 https://goodgarden.nz/decomposition-diary/parataniwha-elatostema-rugosum Parataniwha, roughly translates to "home of the taniwha" and suggests the presence of a taniwha.

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