Sunday, October 21, 2012

mushroom foray finds

We have some fungus geeks living down the street from us. I say this lovingly and with huge gratitude 'cause they took us along yesterday - in the rain - on one of the last mushroom forays of the year!! Now, we look for fungus all the time.  All. The. Time.  Our most recent discovery is what is scientifically called "the poop fungus" which grows in huge colonies wherever there is dog poop in our yard.  Apparently it's edible, but...well, I'm not trying' it.  Really, the best foray is the treasure hunt through the forest for the surprises and the beauties...It was so nice to have these ladies showing us what they are learning in their mycology class at the U.

I can't identify all of these, but I've included what I can, just on the off off off chance that you are also a fungus geek.

Lycogala epidendrum - wolf milk slime mold, which is bubblegum pink in its youth

Mycena luteopallens grows on walnuts and hickory nuts

how amazing is this fungus??? it's the scutellinia scutellata, or eyelash cup
this is not a fungus.  it's more like an animated slime mold.


Even in the rain it was the most beautiful day.  We are deep in the heart of autumn.  While the mushrooms like the rain, it is almost too cold for them to bloom.

wood ear

my autumnal girl, sporting her beautiful mormor sweater
Chlorociboria - green stain fungus
I had to laugh - Sarah literally squealed, "Oh my gosh, I've been looking for this all my life!" when she saw this fungus; her partner Eden laughed and said, you mean since the beginning of the semester?  Love that enthusiastic swoon over mushrooms...come on - it's beautiful!!
the wood is stained blue - read about its use in wood-inlay artwork from the 14th century here
lichen! part fungus, part algae...a whole other amazing story

the hunters' finds, drying out 
They told us which ones we could dry out, on our window screens, and which ones might make it in our little terrarium.  I've never thought of having them inside (!! sorry Dan!!), but to be able to ponder over an earthstar in the dead of winter, well, I think that will be very nice.


sarah in the woods said...

What exciting finds! Love the artwork with the green mushroom wood. Thanks for sharing your adventure and what you learned.

Dan said...

You and I are both deep into our own research, my dear.

alissa said...

I love that you've found people as crazy as you are.

debbie said...

Fungus frightens me. I need a teacher like YOU. I'm afraid they are all deadly poisonous and we will all end up dying in the woods and no one will ever find us. LOL. Paranoid? Me? Nah!

merry said...

At the Ridges in Door County we saw something similar to your first picture growing on a tree, only it was very orange. I got pictures of others, but they aren't as good as yours! Love the sweater!!!!!

kelly said...

The sheer variety is just astounding! Although the silly in me has to comment that the second to last fungus photo resembles boobies....sorry :)