Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oct. 2012 Missouri woodland hike—cinnabar polypore and more.

Hang in there, kids! Trudging forward, hike by hike, getting ever closer to the current luscious spring finds. At least we seem to be moving out of the “everything is brown” phase…

I’ll start with some nice bright colors to get your attention.

This is not lava. It is Pycnoporus cinnabarinus, “cinnabar polypore,” in progress on a dead lichen-covered branch before it emerges into its shelf-like mature form.

Pycnoporus cinnabarinus crack in lichen
Below is another view, the end of the same branch, with some shelving forming.

cinnabar polypore

Pycnoporus cinnabarinus staining log
Above, you can see how it’s infiltrated the wood and turned it this intense bright orange. A small mature fruitbody is lower down.

Below, what you typically see. In the background is the broken branch where I got a special peek at what it does to the interior of dead branches.

Pycnoporus cinnabarinus
Below, the pore surface of the mature shelf. It’s very orange.

Pycnoporus cinnabarinus front edge

And here is the entire underside in all its glory! Let me reiterate for the record that I do not tweak colors! This is the real deal! Put your sunglasses on!

Pycnoporus cinnabarinus pore surface entire


There were a few hikes where I kept seeing these little cream-colored lumps on fallen trees and I couldn’t figure out what they were.

Trametes versicolor very young closeup 2

But then I saw everything all at once, and all was revealed!

Trametes versicolor long view on log

It’s good ol’ Trametes versicolor, turkey tail! Cream-colored lumps not in the frame, but they were on this log!

Trametes versicolor closeup

Fresh growths of T. versicolor can be very beautiful, rich and velvety in quite a range of colors. I sure hope one day I find out what causes the stripes.


Someone’s skull (they are not using it anymore).

Maybe a fox.

skull articulation

The articulation is separating from weathering. This might be worth your while to click on to view large.

Mycena Mycena leaiana.
Always a pleasure to find these little orange lovelies. When they’re really fresh, and just after a rain, they are such a juicy translucent orange they remind me of Tang™.

Mycena leaeiana

If you find little orange mushrooms, one way you can tell if it’s these is the edge of the gills are orange, while the rest of the gill is much lighter.

Common name is—wait for it—“orange Mycena”!

spiny puffball Lycoperdon pulcherrimum
Another one of those little Lycoperdon pulcherrimums. I love them.

Well, that’s that.

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.