You talking the same foxfire as is common in the Southern US? If so it's still very common on rotted logs etc.
Sweet. I searched it for sale... maybe same folk who export novelty flytraps, I hoped. Imagine a nightlight terrarium. No luck.
BUT, according to Wikipedia the very widespread Armillarias
are also bioluminescent, just not in their fruit bodies. That includes A. mellea
, so in theory any Pacific Northwest hiker should expose it by crunching rotten conifer logs.
I've often wondered to what extent spores piggyback on woodlice. It would be a great symbiosis. Perhaps the luminescent fungi are attracting nocturnal woodlice? If both true, then we might be able to devise an irresistible luminescent lure, similar to a mosquito trap, to extend the lifespan of outdoor wood structures. I'm thinking a little solar powered device with the usual poison bait inside. Hang it on your wooden fence to buy a few extra years.
I've sometimes ignited the (methane) bubbles of ponds, hoping for a sustained flame. Conjuring the fairy. But POOF mine die instantly. Apparently there's more to real marsh-lights than simple methane combustion. A big clue is that they self-ignite and burn very slowly. How the heck?!
DrKrettin, your statement that for purely practical reasons people structured life - and therefore calendars - around moonlight, sounds good to me. It beats the wide-eyed mysticism explanation.