Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Spaghetti Grass Fungus?

Sadie Mae (my Jack Russell tiny terror) when she first joined the family
Sadie Mae (my Jack Russell tiny terror when she first
joined the family): the other half of my we.
Now that Spring has sprung, we have discovered new & wondrously strange plant life inhabiting the matchbox bit of wilderness that is our backyard.

Not that we set out to do backyard exploring today. Sadie Mae took it upon herself to set the agenda for this afternoon.



Chipmunkey (not the actual but a representation)
A Chipmunkey (not the actual one
but a representation)
We discovered the Spaghetti Grass Fungus in our hunt for the notorious Chipmunkey. If you are not familiar with the Jack Russell species of dog, they were first bred in England to hunt fox (not that Sadie Mae is big enough to take on a fox).

According to dogtime.com, "If you can't deal with a dog who will chew, dig, and bark, rocket through the house...chase cats and other small animals with glee and murderous intent, and will always find the loophole in any command you give, [s]he's definitely not the dog for you, no matter how cute and small [s]he is."



Backyard Brambly Hedge occupied by Chipmunkeys
Backyard Brambly Hedge
occupied by one or more Chipmunkeys
Sadie Mae exhibits all those characteristics with particular glee. Today, for example, she got herself stuck in this pile of fallen trees and a sundry detritus at the back-most edge of our yard.
My tiny terror's white butt sticking out of the Backyard Brambly Hedge in her search for the Chipmunkey
My tiny terror's white butt sticking out
of the Backyard Brambly Hedge
in her search for the Chipmunkey

video
Tiny Terror in action

Spaghetti Grass Fungus grasping at fallen branches
Fallen branches succumbing to 
the Spaghetti Grass Fungus
Since Sadie Mae's unplanned excursions can go on for hours before she'll get close enough for me to put her back on her leash, I often have to find ways to entertain myself while I wait.

Thus, while pondering the possibility of extracting her manually, I noticed this crazy vine-like creeping something taking over the yard like some alien fungus from the X-Files. It was wrapping around trees, stitching itself through fallen branches, and spreading across the ground in relentless fashion.

Spaghetti Grass Fungus taking over a fallen log
Spaghetti Grass Fungus taking over a fallen log
Spaghetti Grass Fungus climbing a nearby tree
Spaghetti Grass Fungus climbing a nearby tree

Non-cannabis five-leafed plant of unknown origin
Non-cannabis five-leafed plant
of unknown origin
Then, I spied what I thought was some native cannabis growing near the fecund fungus. Alas, my limited horticultural knowledge became apparent when I discovered that the popular weed has seven leaves, not five as I had thought.

Circular icon with a cannabis plant in green in the center with the text "The Weed Issue" around the topFortunately, the internet was able to instruct me with an abundance of imagery and information on the recreational, medical, legalized/decriminalized-in-many-places-but-not-here-at-all-in-any-fashion plant.

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