Monday, October 17, 2011

Pine Grove Fungi

I’m still enjoying the diversity of fungi that have developed as a result of an unusually wet summer. This little puffball reminded me of a freshly baked yeast roll.

An ideal environment for fungi was inadvertently created when I planted a double row of White Pine trees along the edge of the yard to act as a windbreak. The pines now have 25 years of growth and have created a thick bed of pine needles. The decomposition of the pine needles has caused the soil pH to drop well below neutral. Apparently many species of fungi find this to be the perfect place to grow.

The fungi grow here in abundance. There are not only many different species beneath the pines, but each species tends to produce a large population of individuals.

Some newcomers have shown up this year. I believe this to be an Indigo Milky. It looks like something that should glow in the dark.

This is my first experience with a blue fungus. It’s hard to believe that this is a natural color and not a cheap dye job.

We’ve seen white and blue, so a really patriotic pine grove should also have red. I think this is the Rosy Russula. My fungi guide isn’t the best, but this seems to match the picture and the guide says that Rosy Russula is found beneath pines. Someday I’ll have to get some better fungi references.

I keep expecting the weather patterns to change and give us a long dry spell. That would put an end to this fungus bonanza. Rain still seems to be cycling through the long range forecasts, so I guess the parade of fungi will continue for a while longer. I’ll enjoy it as long as it lasts.


  1. Hi Steve...your fungi from yesterday and today are just fantastic!!
    I would not be trying any of those fresh buns though if I was you ; ]
    The colors are amazing...I have not seen only a few fungi this year I can't believe the lack of them as I usually have them even on my lawn!!

    Well don't be testing any of them lol!!


  2. Hi, Grace. Don't worry, I don't eat anything unless there's a pretty good chance it's safe. Maybe all of these colorful fungi are to make up for our lack of butterflies this year.

  3. Maybe you have a population of northern flying squirrels on your property. They spread fungi spore.

    I'm trying to grow shitake mushrooms. The log I innoculated shows all the signs of a successful innoculation but they just won't fruit.

  4. Hi Mark. I haven't seen any flying squirrels yet, but it would be neat to have them here. I toured a commercial shitake operation many years ago and remember them stacking logs in certain ways and using temporary structures to manipulate temperature and moisture levels so their mushrooms would fruit. Hope you have good luck with your shatakes.