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Author Topic: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.  (Read 17996 times)

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Offline Urbicide

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Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« on: October 04, 2006, 01:40:21 PM »
Hello.
I popped a couple of stumps out of the ground with my tractor yesterday afternoon. I have no idea what type of tree they once were. One was about 4" and the other about 6" and they both had been dead for quite some time. They were located close to one of my burn piles and I would always find at least one of them in the dark.

I ended up working towards the back side of my property until well after dark. I usually have a flash light with me but I try not to use unless it is absolutely necessary. The moon was full or close to it and the sky clear.  When I got up to the area where I had pulled the stumps I noticed a faint glowing light on the ground. At first I thought it was just some moonlight filtering to the trees as my property is heavily wooded. I put out my hand to see if it was moon light and it was not. Turned on the flash light and found that the glow was coming from the wood inside of the stumps and from the fractured portions of the roots. I had never seen this before. I have seen small insects that kind of look like flattened pill bugs that would glow but not wood.

I am getting ready to head back out to my woodlot. If it doesn't rain I will  be out until after dark. I will definitely check out the stumps again. Is this effect caused by a fungus or bacteria? It is pretty neat to see and if I had been using my flashlight I would have never noticed.

Take care and keep your eyes open. You never know what you might get to see.

Vince pull_smiley

Offline thurlow

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 04:36:01 PM »
I claim no expertise about newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark............I'll add it to my list  8), but it sounds like what the old folks called foxfire, which is often thought to be phosphorus, or may be a variety of the amillaria fungus................................. ..
Here's to us and those like us; DanG few of us left!

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2006, 07:58:05 PM »
I'm with thurlow. I've seen foxfire on a couple of occassions. One most memorable episode was in an alder swamp, on a moon lit night, where we would hang out as kids in summer. I took a sample which was blue-green stained and kept it over night at the treehouse. It glowed most of the night and as soon as the wood dried out the fungus was dead and the glow ended. It was actually quite weird being in a swamp with all this glowing wood around. It's not too common to find it growing in ideal conditions (whatever they may be). And the bugs you mentioned are fire flies. We used to catch them with nets and put them in jars when we were kids. I find them mostly in areas with tall grass. A fisherman's tale reminded anglers that active fire flies at night ment a run of salmon were on the river and it would be good fishing. ;D
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Online PineNut

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2006, 10:00:37 PM »
Sounds to me like foxfire. I can usually find some whenever I look for it. Most of what I find glows rather dim but on occasion, some is really bright. If you look under some decayed wood, you can usually find the dim foxfire.  The brighter foxfire usually comes from a dead stump. Not at all unusual here in southwestern Mississippi.

Offline Sawyerfortyish

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2006, 07:36:34 PM »
Yep thats foxfire I seen it once and didn't know at the time what it was But everything glowed like a flourescent light. Took some home and showed dad and he told me what it was. Conditions must be just right for it to exist. Enjoy it you may not see it again for a long time.

Offline Frank_B

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2006, 01:46:37 PM »
There's an informational piece on foxfire at http://inamidst.com/lights/foxfire.

First time I saw it was in a river bottom.  Had spent the day clearling an area for camping and after nightfall noticed the wood chips and stumps glowing a greenish-yellow.


Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2006, 01:55:13 PM »
Thanks for the article Frank. There aren't many references with pictures on the net.  smiley_thumbsup fire_smiley
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline swinging-sawdust

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006, 09:25:06 AM »
Great artical Frank.I had some poplar logs that had been laying around for a few years and I finally sawed them up the otherday and I had chalked the wheels on my powerhead to go back to the house and it was dark when I got there and I could see the piece was glowing so I went back my whole scrap pile was glowing.I have been searching all over trying to find what that was.THANKS!!!

Offline mdvaden

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2006, 04:10:27 AM »
I'm sure it's not mushrooms, from your description.

But have you heard of the mushrooms found in South America that glow in the dark?

I didn't know of such a thing until I found a link online.

Apparently, there are several of them.

Offline Daren

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2006, 11:13:53 PM »
I had missed this thread. Foxfire is a new term, but nothing new in experience. We have a local  catfishing spot on the river called "Green hand bridge". It is near an old rock quarry and the bridge is long gone (it was used as a service road to the quarry) the pilings are still there and they get log jams that make some decent fishing. It is a little bit of a hike now that the road is closed, so not many go there. As kids we used to go out and stay all night, but we usually had a story to tell in the morning. After dark the green mist would roll in on a calm night and it appeared to glow and dance across the black water. Some where afraid to go out there. I figured it was some sort of natural gas from the old quarry, it might be that or the log jambs or a combination of the 2. None the less it was cool.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2006, 08:14:19 AM »
Never seen foxfire but St Elmo's Fire sure is a freaky experience at 41,000 feet! Count yourself lucky if you ever do see it. Some guys fly 30 years and never see it. I saw it like my 5th or 6th flight in a Hu-25A, then never again.

I'll keep my eyes open for glowing stumps though. That would have to be cool too.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2006, 08:17:06 AM »
a little off track, but creepy fire none-the-less
we use to have "devil's fire" around here
you would be walking through the woods at night a see a blueish flame dancing above the ground. couldn't see them during the day, just at night and they would come and go.

pretty scaring when you were a kid.
underground coal mine fires that vented through a hole. susposedly there are still a few burning in sw pa, though I don't know where

(local ledgend, course I never saw one, too scared to go look for them when I was a kid)
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2006, 08:29:44 AM »
Then there is the Aurora  Borealis. Different bands of light waving across the sky in cold winter night air.  :) Aurora is the Roman goddess of the dawn. They also look neat on satellite images.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2006, 08:44:30 AM »

 I saw the Aurora Borealis one night in Fairbanks Alaska. It was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen.

 Working at NASA on the Landsat project in the 80s we produced IR images of Pennsylvania and you could see hotspots in the images that were identified as underground coal fires.

Jon
Imagine, Me a Tree Farmer.
Jon, Appalachian American Wannabe.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2006, 08:50:09 AM »
I never heard of underground coal fires til this thread. Is this a natural phenomenon or the aftermath of coal mining?
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Online PineNut

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2006, 02:56:26 PM »
I have seen St Elmos fire on many occasions. Many times it is very faint but other times it is quite bright. Any many of the times, it was below 10,000 ft. I expect it would be quite freightning if one did not know what it was. I usually look for foxfire in the summer to show kids and have never been disappointed for not finding it.

Offline Furby

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2006, 03:06:27 PM »
Underground coal fires can be started from lots of things.
In the Dakotas there are areas where you can see the exsposed layers and lightening could spark a fire in a coal seam and burn for miles.



We had a nice show of Aurora Borealis just last week here. It don't get this far South in this area very offten.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2006, 04:42:34 PM »
Going to keep my eye out tonight, might be clear enough. The best times would be to find out when solar flares from the sun are making there way to the earth's outer atmosphere. But, it is hard to pin point where the Aurora Borealis will be seen. If you Google a bit you may find a station or organization that tracks solar flares/wind.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2006, 06:18:53 PM »
those underground coal fires are in abandoned mines. much of southwest pa is riddled with underground mines. every year you hear of someone's house subsiding into a pit. I've seen the mine fires in the mine when we were looking at how to mitigate acid mine drainage. never saw the devil's fire. that's when the mine fire breaks through the surface of the earth and a flame appears.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Offline Camp Run Farm

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Re: Newly pulled stumps glowing in the dark.
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2006, 04:56:16 AM »
Centralia PA is a ghost town now after an underground mine fire has been burning since the early 60's..  Go to this link for the story  http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/centralia.htm


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