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People often show me pictures they've taken of indian pipes, proudly displaying their photographic fungal acumen. Imagine their surprise when I tell them that it's actually not a mushroom , but a unique organism known as the "ghost plant".

it's actually not a mushroom

That's right, a plant! I used to think they were mushrooms too. Yet these beautiful ghosts are actually perennial plants that lack chlorophyll, a feature that gives them their pale white color.

Although not a mushroom, I felt indian pipes deserved their own page to clear up some of the confusion about these crazy perennials. We'll start with some basic ghost plant facts, and then look at some of their unique features such as how they feed themselves and why they're cheaters.

Now you may be wondering how a plant with no chlorophyll survives. Read on to learn more!

Getting to Know the Ghost Plant

What's a ghost plant to do when it contains no chlorophyll and gets very little sunlight? You steal energy from others! With this process:

We were taught in school that all plants contain chlorophyll, a green pigment critical for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the chemical process that uses energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into necessary sugars, allowing the plant to feed.

Very simply, with chlorophyll and sunlight a plant can produce what it needs to nourish itself.

Yet there are some glorious exceptions to this rule. Indian pipes are known as myco-heterotrophs, which are plants that get their food by parasitizing other fungi instead of through photosynthesis. It does this by linking its roots with the mycelia of a fungus.

Once it's connected to the underground threads of a fungus, it can interrupt the flow of nutrients and feed itself. It gives nothing back to the fungus in this exchange, and takes what it needs to survive.

In most cases, the fungus itself also has a mycorrhizal relationship with a tree. A mycorrhizal relationship is a beneficial exchange where mycelia of a fungus connects to the roots of a tree. The fungus gets access to nutrients such as sugars from the tree, and in return it widens the tree's root system. This allows the tree to take in more water and nutrients.

Yet the ghost plant doesn't parasitize just any mushroom. It prefers those from the Russulaceae family, which include the Russula and Lactarius genus. The next time you see these white plants be sure to look around the area. Do you see any Russula or Lactarius mushrooms nearby?

Myco-heterotrophs are sometimes called "mycorrhizal cheaters", meaning they form what looks like a mycorrhizal relationship but give nothing back. In this case the indian pipe steals from both the plant and the tree. Making it, like your brother in law who raids your fridge and leaves nothing in return, a true parasite.


Kirkland Lake, ON


Kirkland Lake Project

Angus wants gas prices to be investigated

Charlie Angus

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KIRKLAND LAKE- Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus has written to Canada's Competition Bureau to investigate potential gouging and price fixing regarding northern gasoline prices. In a letter to Interim Commissioner Matthew Boswell, Angus says prices in the north continue to soar and citizens are frustrated with their inability to find any competitive prices from the major chains.

He says the high gas prices require an investigation because it has a huge impact on the bottom line of northern families.

"Spikes in gas prices have an enormous impact on our region, which is large and sparsely populated. Many people rely on a fair marketplace in fuel to sustain their livelihoods, and do not have the luxury of fallback options like public transit in large parts of the North."

Angus says the potential for price fixing among "competitors" or gouging during weekend and holiday times is obvious. And yet the Competition Bureau has up until now refused to look into any of the allegations.

"It is not credible for the Competition Bureau to throw the responsibility for gathering evidence back on the citizens. Northerners are feeling frustrated by this lack of response from the government agency tasked with investigating and enforcing breaches of competition law."

Angus has written to the Competition Bureau on numerous occasions over the years. He says he will keep pushing the Bureau to take this issue seriously.

"Canadians rely on the Competition Bureau to ensure fair market competition and peace of mind in the marketplace. I am asking the Bureau to investigate this ongoing issue in Northern Ontario."

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Air quality advisory issued by Environment Canada

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement in effect for all of…

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Stephan has done everything from landscaping to homeless shelter work. He’s worked at Springs In Bloom, Harley’s Hope Foundation, Crossfire Ministries, Mission Medical Clinic, Partners In Housing. We have recently contracted with Habitat for Humanity to volunteer at the Restore as well as with a Safe Place for Pets.

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A group of staff and participants from the Community Connections program in Colorado Springs have recently taken on the task ofplanting and taking care of a corner of Colorado Springs. “We have “adopted” a city plot and have been put in charge of planting and maintaining it as a group. Here are the before, during and after photos!” says Skye Rust, Program Director.

Dec 23, 2015 // by admin // RTRY WomenS Boots Spring Fall Winter Platform Comfort Novelty Patent Leather Leatherette Wedding Office amp;Amp; Career Dress Casual Party amp;Amp; Evening US6 / EU36 / UK4 / CN36 wOamZvuc
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Today, I have the pleasure of spending the day with our Community Participation Program for their annual Christmas Party. Everyone will be headed over to the American Legion Hall on North Pecos Street to enjoy an Italian Lunch, games, music, singing, dancing, pictures and presents. What a true blessing it is to see the people we support enjoy a time of fellowship and fun together. And what a blessing it is that we have gifts to hand out to each person that have been donated by staff, board members, Xcel Energy, families and a number of other cash donors. Without the help of these generous people, the party would not have gifts.

What are some of the best parts of getting together? The smile that comes to each person’s face as they enjoy opening a gift just for them. The laughter that fills the room. The sound of a young lady singing loudly a favorite Christmas carol. The joy in the face of each person that serves a plate of food to each individual. The passing of cookie trays from one table to the next. The wearing of Santa Hats for those pictures that will capture the good memories. Merry Christmas to you and be blessed in the New Year.

Oct 12, 2015 // by admin // Uncategorized // Comments Off on Community Connections in Colorado Springs

At the end of 2014, Roundup added service provision for adults in Colorado Springs. The program is called Community Connections and we are serving a small group of adults in accessing community activities. Under the leadership of Skye Rust, Community Connections is looking to expand and serve more adults who are looking to be involved in community life. Activities in the program focus on adult learning, volunteer opportunities and community connecting. As far as activities go,Skye reports,“We’ve done a fire day where we toured fire station 9, went to the fire fighter museum and then to the IAFF fire fighter memorial. We go to the YMCA, libraries and I am excited to announce that as of today we are proud Meals on Wheels volunteers! The route is called Opal and we deliver every Thursday. We have toured the Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force base and gone out to Cici’s pizza. The adults participated in Bear Creek Regional Walk and Scavenge program. They walk the trails and pick up trash. All participating were given stickers and floats at the end of that day. It was a hit. We’ve also done lots of crafts, a movie and popcorn day, and celebrated two birthdays with cake and cocoa.” We are continuing to build new activities around the wants and needs of the people we are serving.

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