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Dry white life in the woods

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Without a daily blog project I've been letting photos build up a long time: these are from a walk we went on in the Stony Brook Reservation on July 8th. This is one of the only mushrooms I've seen all summer.

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Not far away, feeding on the sugars shared between tree and fungus, are a group of ghost flowers, or monotrope.

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These parasites need no chlorophyll, so dot the forest with ghostly white instead of green.

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A distant relative in the same family, striped Pipsissewa is found from Canada to Panama, but is endangered across some of its range.

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The plant is sometimes called striped wintergreen, or more confusingly, spotted wintergreen. Some government agencies have taken to calling it "striped Prince's Pine" in the misguided idea that this is somehow less confusing.

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