Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Fungi

A wet summer is not the norm at Blue Jay Barrens. Because of all the rain, I’ve been seeing and photographing more fungi than I have in years. Don’t worry, I’m not going to resurrect the old joke about that making me a Fun Guy. Sorry. It’s late and the editor let that one slip through. This specimen is called Old Man of the Woods. No, it’s not a self portrait. Is that editor even working tonight?

I’m not much practiced at fungi identification, but I have learned to look beneath the cap to see if there are gills or pores. Here you can clearly see pores. This one piece of information narrows your possible choices. The problem is, my identification guide only covers about 800 species, so there’s a great chance that what I see in the field is not in my book. The covering on this cap looks to me like baked meringue.

Very few of this type of shelf fungi showed such a gracefully curved form. There are several individuals with oddly curled shapes below in the shadows.

These fungi cover the length of a 20 foot log. I’ve noticed that there is usually just one type of fungi growing from an individual log. I know many fungi are specific to certain species of wood or a specific stage of decomposition, but I’m wondering if some type of competition occurs that ends with a single species claiming a particular site.

On the next log over we have these tough looking shelf fungi. The spores have painted the surrounding area orange. Those leaves below are wearing a thick layer of spores. These spores were so bright they caught your eye from a long way off.

This fungus produced a stout woody base from which the spore producing portion developed. Many of the shelf fungi produce a tough growth which can persist for many years, but the growth seen here seems to be more extreme than most.

1 comment:

  1. You sure have a nice variety of fungi at Blue Jay Barrens! I've seen lots of mushrooms in my life but never seen these - I guess they don't grow in our area. The Old Man of the Woods mushroom looks pretty and as I surfed the internet it is said it's edible too as I suspeced because most of the mushrooms with pores are edible with very few exceptions. However consulting a field guide is a 1st thing to do anyway. I for instance use my husband in this case because he knows a lot about mushrooms )