Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mushrooms to study

Me and my morel.
I didn't have to hike for this one since I found right in the driveway!

Jacob identified this beautiful
mushroom as Amanita caesarea.
Looking for and trying to identify mushrooms has been a regular activity over the last year.  (Check out last fall's post with spore prints and the large mushroom book that I use- Naturalist Niche.)  New England's wet climate is rich in mushroom diversity.  Unfortunately, I am still a novice when it comes to identifying many of them, but I'm working on it.  There are so many small details needed to successfully identify mushroom species, and many types are variable in color, where they grow, and size.   However, the challenge and novelty of exploring this group of organisms is definitely worth the effort especially when sometimes you are rewarded with edible species.  

The three wild mushrooms that I've found and eaten include several clusters of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms, one morel, and three large black velvet bolete.  I found the black velvet bolete, Tylopilus alboater, during a mushroom class.  Don't worry Jacob and I are very cautious with wild mushrooms.  


Chicken of the Woods growing in our yard!
It was tasty!
A chick Chicken of the Woods,
this one got away as I spotted it while at work.





















 A whole flock of Chickens of the Woods 

Without realizing, I have been snapping lots of photos of mushrooms, and have quite a collection on my iphone.  The photos look good on my small iphone screen, but on the computer they aren't the best.  I hope you enjoy them none-the-less. 
The mushroom class teacher said this one is the Old Man of the Woods, a kind of bolete.
Boletes have little round holes or tubes instead of gills for spores to fall out.

Unidentified Bolete


A slimy purple mushroom, Cortinarius idoes

Unidentified mushroom

I love these plump mushrooms

They grow in clusters and look like little woodland gnomes! 

A soft white polypore (many of the species that grow on wood
 and don't have gills are in a type of polypore)

The beautiful Amanita with it's tiny friends.

Amanita's tiny friends up close

a bad photo of a cool coral fungus


I think this one is called a Fawn Mushroom.
It may have been edible (I wasn't positive and didn't try it),
plus I found it after its expiration date.


There are many colorful mushrooms in the Russula group.
They range from yellow, to red, orange, wine, and white.

Yellow Russula sp.  The slugs and squirrels like it!


And a photo taken yesterday!
Only in New England can you find mushrooms growing out of a
Pileated Woodpecker hole in a old rotting Birch Tree.

I identified a similar mushroom on dead birch earlier this summer as Pholiota squarrosa, Scaly Pholiota.
The bad knobs are known as conks, because they are hard woody things that go conk when you throw them on a rock :).  Before I learned that they are conks I liked to call them tree noses.