Saturday, June 15, 2013

September Missouri mushrooms and more, the backlog resumes

If you’re just tuning in, we’re in the middle of a bunch of late posts.

There was a terrible drought and heat wave last summer (2012), I didn't bother hiking at all for nearly 3 months (no precipitation = no mushrooms to speak of), then there was some rain in early fall and some nice fall mushrooms did show up, but I had lost my blogging momentum. Now I’m trying to catch up so I can start posting this year’s spring finds! More pics, less talk!

Agaricus placomyces distorted mushroom cap and fresh mushroom,

Pretty sure the young cream-colored one is Agaricus placomyces. The big wildly-cracked one might be A. placomyces, too, but it's too deteriorated for me to tell. All I know is it's cool.

Agaricus placomyces white mushroom cap brown center

Agaricus placomyces brown gills big ring

That’s some ring!

The rings on mushroom stems are from a sheet of tissue that used to cover the gills in the developing mushroom (a “partial veil,” they call it). As the cap expands, that sheet of tissue tears away from the edge of the cap, and stays attached to the stem.

I found an area that had a lot of this next stuff--Spongipellis pachyodon. First I found it on this log, and then I found it all over a tree on the other side of the trail.

Irpex lacteus under log

Irpex lacteus with hand

Here’s how big it was.

Irpex lacteus tooth closeup


This is the non-boring version; apparently it can also be just a toothless crusty patch.

Irpex lacteus clumps on tree

Right across the trail, it was  different again, but the flat teeth, just like on the log version, gave it away. Please hold for teeth.

Irpex lacteus young growths

Irpex lacteus large clump

Irpex lacteus clump from below

Pretty great shapes…

Irpex lacteus engulfing leaf

At the base of the tree I found very young growths. Here is one eating a leaf.

orange mushroom

Just thought I’d toss some color in here, since all the other pics in this post are beige. This was a little mushroom, maybe 2” tall, and I should know what it is as it’s quite common, but I forget. But what about all that fuzz at the base of the stem? That is normal. ***Edit, two years later (10/10/2015): it's Marasmius sullivantii.

millipedes mating

I was going for some shots of that reddish stuff which is a favorite slime mold, when this millipede showed up. I didn't realize it was actually a mating pair! They wouldn't stop rolling along on their million legs, and it was quite a dark little corner so I couldn't get a really good shot. But, “Seen millipedes mating: check.”

spiny puffball (2)

That bright white ball dead center is a puffball, Lycoperdon pulcherrimum.
My shoe for size

worn spiny puffball view 2

An older specimen, spines wearing off.

jelly lichen
This seemingly undifferentiated mess on a rock had me stymied for a year. During dry times it was leathery and hardly noticeable. After a good rain, things got weird.

jellylichen closeup

It’s a jelly lichen!

I didn't even know such a thing existed. My knowledge of mosses and lichens is slim to none, so this really didn't compute. Finally I posted it in the right place and some helpful soul piped up and offered some possibilities. It’s either Collema or Leptogium, that much is sure. I started looking both these up trying to
narrow it down and got hopelessly confused, so I quit.

jelly lichen close

I feel better knowing at least a little something about it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Backlog assortment: Missouri fall finds.

Still in Sept., 2012...such bad practice.


An eggshell. I know not what kind of bird. A small one, though.

Young oysters.

young oyster cluster

A particularly luminous clump of young oyster mushrooms.

underside of oysters in hand

Oyster gills. Off-center stem, gills running down stem. Yes, I cut them off the tree—a girl’s got to eat!

leaf-footed bug on windshield

When I got back to the car this leaf-footed bug was on the windshield.

~~~Note: these images were shot in September! Seed ticks aren't out yet!~~~

Seed ticks are really small, but you can see them…SO awful, so tiny, and often so many…once I looked down and thought there was a smear of mud on my jeans, but it was a solid swath of seed ticks, much worse than pictured here (and it was actually the second nest I'd crashed into, less than ten minutes after the first one--). I got the willies and aborted that hike. Miraculously, none got on me or bit me.

What a terrible way to end a blog post.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A katydid.

From Sept. 2012, the backlog continues.

katydid from afar

On a naked tree, I saw something.

katydid on tree closer

katydid side

It was a beautiful leaf-winged katydid, with yellow eyes and red knees.

katydid knee

Katydid’s red knee.

They're not great flyers. When pushed, they might glide or flutter mostly towards the ground, and then start walking. Nice wings, though!

katydid below

Above: that’s some ovipositor!



These are related to crickets, not grasshoppers. That was a surprise to me because I thought crickets and grasshoppers were pretty closely related anyway, but they're not even in the same family. They’re in the same order, but different suborders.

Grasshoppers have short antennae and katydids tend to have very long ones. Grasshoppers do stuff during the day, and katydids do things at night.

katydid with hand

Here you can just make out that the antennae extend past my fingertip! Longer than its body. As a kid I discovered that if you get a katydid’s attention with a wiggling finger, the antennae will follow your finger around.

common splitgill gills

That day I also found this, a common split gill. These are very common but sometimes you can catch really beautiful patterns on the underside, like these.

Whoop! Whoop! This is my hundredth post!!!