Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ash Tree Bolete pore surface


Ash Tree Bolete pore surface, originally uploaded by Mycologista. 

Well, this was pretty cool, since the top of this mushroom looked like icky grey liver, or worse.

Lawn liver
A friend (thank you Robbie!) called to alert me to these (I guess my non-stop ranting about mushrooms is having an effect). If the top-most image is showing up as a weird ocher-olive color, that's accurate. Also, every time I look at that first one, it looks out of focus for a second, and then it pops into focus. Wacky! This didn't happen in real life, only in photo. 

Okay. So the Latin name is Gyrodon merulioides, or Boletinellus merulioides (why?!?), it's edible, or inedible because it tastes lousy (like wood), and one person in Illinois says on their website that "This is one of the most flavorful mushrooms we can find around here." I think I'll skip this one. But I still love those pores...

Update July 24: a hard-core, long-term mushroom hunter told me he thinks they taste like rotten potato peels.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Witch's Hat, Bird's Nest and Red Russula

Witch's Hat mushroom, Hygrocybe conica, sweet little thing...that little knob on top is typical.
Bird's Nest fungi (Crucibulum laeve) on old hickory shell. These are really common, yet it feels like the first time every time I see them (because I think they're so cute). The "eggs" are peridioles, or spore-sacs, and a drop of rain will cause them to shoot out of the nest, trailing a little sticky strand, and then it will stick to a leaf or something, and then the peridiole will break open, and spew spores around. At least, that's what I hear; I've never seen it (but, one day, I will). The yellow one in the foreground hasn't opened yet.

Red Russula. That white "bloom" on the ant one is dropped spores from the one above it.

White jelly fungus (and more chanterelles)

Exidia alba--synonymous with Ductifera pululahuana
Lots of Chanterelles

About 6” of rain in 3 days means a whole lot of mushrooms are bursting forth…there's so many chanterelles out that I was perfectly comfortable GIVING AWAY the whole bag from the last outing. Two people at work seemed interested enough, as I babbled on & on about mushrooms (like I do), that I asked them if they'd like to try some, and they said yes, with believable enthusiasm, so I picked the last batch just for them.

There's so many of them that when this woman overheard us, and came to see them, and said "Oh, that's what those are??? I just mowed a whole bunch of them down before work today!", I * did * not * even * care.

SO much nicer than the paranoia and stress involved with MORELS. Chanterelles are prolific; they show up in the same area year after year, they're really easy to spot, they're all over the place, and they keep coming up for months--they'll be around, in abundance, through the fall. I know 5 places right this second that I could take someone and we would find chanterelles. Unlike some mushrooms we know.

The little white jelly fungus is Exidia alba; it's about an inch across.