Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More September mushroom fun after the drought broke--heavy on Flammulina velutipes.

I’ll keep plowing away at these older images because wait’ll you see the current spring stuff! But this older stuff must have its day.

velvet foot behind bark
Sept. 2012, found these Flammulina velutipes peeking out from behind a big slab of loose bark on a dead tree. Being a big dumb lurching human, I had to investigate, so I pulled the bark away.

I’m glad I did. Every stage of growth there, like a kind of fine botanical illustration (as always, click to view bigger!).

Flammulina bark pulled away

Flammulina close-up immature
Above, hey, don’t some of those look a lot like those enoki mushrooms sold in grocery stores? Well, that’s because they are. They’re the same mushroom. The same. When grown in cultivation they are grown in very low light, and in a “carbon dioxide-rich” environment, and instead of developing a black stem of decent thickness and a lovely, sticky, tawny-orange cap, they stay creamy white and grow very, very tall and slender, with a tiny little runty cap. Here, under the bark, it is dark with low air circulation, but are you trying to tell me as soon as it reached the edge it was going to morph into the typical form, below? I don’t know what’s going on anymore.

Here’s a prime example of wild ones on a tree, outside (they like it cold, by the way), with normal levels of CO2 (you can also see how they got their common name, “velvet foot”):

Flammulina velutipes-Oct 28 2009

I have absolutely no idea why high CO2 would affect their growth like it does.
Below, a close-up of the very young growths from under the bark, the caps are just little smears! These were about an inch long.

very young velvet foot

Sure is a lot going on out there that we hardly ever see.

Below, pear-shaped puffballs, Lycoperdon pyriforme. I mostly cannot resist taking pics of these whenever I see them. One way to keep track of these, compared to other small, whitish puffballs, is these always grow on wood.

pear-shaped puffballs

Below, no idea what kind of mushroom, but photogenic in my book.

white mushroom

Below, a nifty example of a partial veil, the thing that makes the ring on the stem. As the cap expands it will tear away from the outer edge and leave that circle of tissue attached to the stem.

Agaricus placomyces partial veil

I went around and around about the ID of this one and finally mostly landed on Agaricus placomyces, but not 100%. That bit of yellow on the edge of the cap helped with diagnosis—it bruised that color after I touched it--but there were other things that would have narrowed it down further, which I missed. One guy asked me how it smelled, because A. placomyces is supposed to smell terrible. I didn’t smell it. But since then I’ve made a real point of sniffing everything.

Agaricus placomyces split

I see a box turtle just about every time I hike.

I’m always trying to get a look at their hind feet, so I can count their toes and see if it’s a Three-toed or Ornate, and they almost always suck into their shells so I can’t see their hind feet at all. Here, a front foot will have to do. Very nice claws!

box turtle claws

Since then I’ve learned there are other ways to tell those two kinds apart but I still want to see those hind toes.

Grindstone creek
Above, in one of the state parks 10 minutes from where I live.

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