Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Also, I found some morels, but I didn't care



The morels I found on this day were pretty much overshadowed by the emerging Polyphemus moth I found.

Still, my first love is mushrooms.

This guy (Michael Kuo) writes really great mushroom books, I'm telling you...

Dryad's Saddle, in a big way


Polyporus squamosus, originally uploaded by Mycologista.
Polyporus squamosus.
My open pocket knife is 5-3/8" long.
The grey cast on the ground is dropped spores.
These are getting a little older; young, fresh specimens are more yellow (and you can see them from really far away).

These are perfectly edible, but it's one of the weirdest things I've ever tasted. They smell exactly like watermelon rind, or cucumber. Maybe if I didn't expect them to taste like "mushrooms" I would like them better.

I dunno, some people really like them; I'd try them again

Cup fungi


Urnula or Plectania or what?, originally uploaded by Mycologista.
Urnula or Plectania or what?

Everybody assumed these were Devil's Urn (Urnula craterium) except they're not growing in the right place. U. craterium grows on rotting sticks, and these were growing right up against cedar trees.

To be fair, the big one in the center with the nice fringed edge probably IS a standard Devil's Urn. But all the little ones behind, I just don't think so. I just don't.

Michael Kuo himself, the rock star of mushroom book authors ("100 Edible Mushrooms"--hugely useful and highly entertaining), has offered to take a closer look at them. His website, www.mushroomexpert.com, is the go-to site for mycophiles.

I'll eventually get around to sending some dried specimens to him. The poor guy, he's swamped with "What's THIS?" e-mails, including from me. Well, you makes your bed, you sleeps in it.



It's really a great book. Too bad I don't actually OWN it.
*Edit sometime in fall, 2011: I own it now! I am proud and happy!

Virginia Bluebells

I think I like the buds better than the fleurs
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Killdeer protest



Hey! Look what happens when you get too close to a Killdeer on her nest, before she breaks and runs off with a fake broken wing, trying to lure you away.
I never knew about those beautiful orange under-feathers before.
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Moth parts, Hyalophora cecropia

So. This is a MALE (see previous post, "Cecropia moth"), and these are his claspers that he would have used if he ever found a willing female, but he never went to find one. I would find him each morning positioned like this. When I would move the container to get a better look, he would close this up.


The helpful crew at bugguide.net told me the females usually don't fly off, but instead stay put and point their magic pheromone-wand in the air to attract males. Not having ever seen a female Cecropia moth's pheromone organ, I thought that's what was going on here.

We don't know why he never flew off.
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