But as soon as I got home I got
the camera! Here it is, in the trunk of a 4-door Accord for scale!
Here it is on a scale for scale! Sixteen pounds of choice edible Grifola frondosa!
Don’t use this blog as a mushroom ID site!
Here it is in the arms of my friend, cradled on a paper grocery bag! I banged on her door and there I was, she didn't know what the hell I was holding, I made her hold it while I took a pic, to try to give you a sense of how big it was. My friend is used to this sort of thing now. I thought it might have been a little past its prime (getting dry or corky), but it wasn't.
I called another mushroom friend and hacked off a nice 5-pound chunk for him.
I was giddy over this find. Later, I was giddy again when I realized if I had not found it about 20’ from the road, and had actually been in the middle of the woods (typical hike is 3-4-5 hours long), I would have had to carry that 16-pound thing for a couple miles. Using both arms.
This is a very meaty mushroom and I made a pot roast out of several pounds of it, substituting it for meat, because I could. Very good idea.
Now here are some turtles.
I have no idea what this is.
Whatever it is, it’s tiny!
I don’t know what this is, either! It looks like a spider
egg case—but orange???
Why is everything tan or orange???
This is Abortiporus biennis, early in its development. Apparently, it can just sort of get bigger and lumpy (while exuding red juice and bruising brown) or it can develop something like a cap and stem (sort of). It might look soft but it’s actually firm and rubbery. Plug it into a search engine to see many other growth stages and forms. It grows around things in its path.
There’s a little spider on it.
What the heck is that mess!
It’s the underside of an ink-cap mushroom, as found (broken off its stem). Coprinus comatus (pretty sure)—“shaggy mane”. When young and fresh, the cap is a tall, narrow cylinder. When the spores are mature it starts to auto-digest, which makes the tight gills separate and curl back, allowing the spores better access to dispersal. There’s a great article about this written by one of Kathie Hodge’s Cornell U. students, here.
Oh yes I did!
Another “visible from the trail” specimen. It’s a pretty big puffball, Calvatia craniiformis, “skull-shaped puffball”.
I tapped around on it trying to determine if it was fresh and moist inside and decided to try it. Here is the cut base, which saddened me, as it looked too far gone. But wait!
I cut a wedge out of it and the upper section was pure white and soft.
Later I read in one description about the “stem-like, sterile base”, so this is typical. Other puffballs are just balls, and don’t have much of a stem or stalk, if at all.
Here is a still-life interlude:
An older, darkening, crown-tipped coral and some scruffy-topped gilled mushrooms I didn't identify. The crown-tipped coral is very pale when young.
Oh, look! More orange mushrooms!
These could be P. aurivella, or P. limonella, it’s another case of needing microscopic examination of spores to really be certain. Since I was a little distracted because I had just figured out where I was after suddenly ending up someplace completely other than where I thought I was, I didn't even get a shot of the stem or gills.
Pholis means "scale" in Greek.
One book calls this “onion-bagel Pholiota”!
Below: this is typical fall foray fun. If this one had been after a summer of normal rainfall and temps, there would have been much, more more!
That big frilly mound someone is pinching is Sparassis crispa, which I would love to find. It was quite a foray coupe even though it was way past its prime. When fresh they are creamy yellow.
Above, yet another Grifola frondosa, cut open in the privacy of my home, so you can see a little of the inside structure. Turned out to be a good year for hens, so much so that I forget where I found this 8-pounder!
Lycoperdon pyriforme, the end.