Last weekend, Keith Board and I briefly visited a boggy site in South Bend. We hadn't been on the site for 5 minutes before I broke through the surface and was over my knee boots in ice-cold water. Regardless, it was nice to get outside. Keith was very amused, especially since I fell through in a spot where he had just been standing. Instead of offering to help, Keith was reaching for his camera, but not quickly enough.
Portions of the site are dominated by woody species such as Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia), and Gray Birch (Betula populifolia), which was once considered extirpated from the state. This is a very interesting community for St. Joseph County, Indiana.
One of the highlights on this day was the shelf fungus seen growing on several of the birch trees.
The best that I can tell, this is Birch Bracket Fungus (Piptoporus betulinus), but I would be willing to entertain other possibilities if anyone has other ideas. Birch Polypore or Razor Strop, as it is also known, grows on dead birch trees, or on wounds on living birch trees.
This fungus is said to be edible (but not very tasty); it has also been used medicinally. The common name Razor Strop comes from the use of this fungus to sharpen razors.
With the white snow, white sky, and white tree trunks, the yellow-orange underside of this beautiful fungus really stood out.