Not long after we lost half the tree, we noticed a bright yellow fungus growing on the remaining trunk. It started out small, then got much larger. After some investigating, we learned it was an edible fungus commonly known as "Chicken of the Woods."
A few years ago, one of the large old oak trees in our yard was split by a storm. It had a split trunk already and we'd fastened the two together years before, with a heavy metal cable. But the storm was too much and half of the tree came down. That provided some wood for Romie's brother to burn in his woodburning stove his family has for heating their home and we use it now and then for wiener roasts and those cool autumn nights when we just like to sit around the fire after dark.
Apparently so, but we've not gotten up enough nerve to try it out yet. We had a healthy amount of it growing on the tree this fall and I was tempted. I hear it tastes like...you know...chicken. Laetiporus species grow on several species of trees, most commonly on oaks, which is where ours is. Many times it reappears in the same location year after year, depending on the weather. In its wake, it produces brown rot and eventually the tree will succumb to its effects.
The fungus is really only edible in its youth. Unless harvested shortly after its appearance, it becomes brittle and loses its good taste. It can be prepared like any other fungus or like chicken and is used as a meat substitute by vegetarians.
Laetiporus. It's what's for dinner!