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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Fungi Files: More Miscellaneous Mushrooms

I have several serious, writing-intensive posts that I'm working on, a process much slowed by the fact that the weather has been abysmal, sending wave after wave of wind and rain my way, resulting in wave after wave of fatigue and migraines. To tide you over until I can get my deep thoughts written down, here's another photo-centric post on fungi.

In the three and a half months since I posted about mushrooms with gills, the three months since I posted about mushrooms with pores, and the two months since I posted about some of the more strange kinds of fungi you can find (a post you should definitely check out if you haven't seen it already), I naturally took a great many more photos. Most of them are pictures of mushrooms with gills and I believe with the exception of perhaps one or two, none of the species shown here were featured in any of those previous blogposts. The photos are arranged in no particular order, though the first third of the post features mostly mushrooms I found in my yard and the rest is devoted to mushrooms I found in the forest. As always, you can click on photos to enlarge them and I recommend that you do!

These little orange mushrooms seem to be common lawn inhabitants.

They begin to invert as they age.

The caps are about the size of the nail on your pinkie finger.

I upended one to look at its gills.

This is one of the few species previously featured. As you can see, great swaths of them sprouted in our lawn.

I find them very charming.

A cluster of tiny, orange-capped mushrooms emerge from the moss and leaf litter.

I found a big colony of these mushrooms in the gloom beneath some overgrown shrubs and spent several weeks documenting the evolution of their caps as they matured.

The caps started out quite purple.

As they opened up, the color started to fade and the caps often split.

A trio of wide-open caps--the largest is perhaps an inch and a half across.

Eventually, the caps inverted...

…and grew increasingly dry and pale...

…until they looked like this.

A portion of the colony.

They weren't the only mushrooms growing under the same shrubs. Four different varieties sprout next to one another in this photo.

The brown one on the bottom left in the above photo looked like these as it matured.

The cap of this mushroom was mostly orange when it emerged...

…but the new growth as the cap expanded was white. 

A similar mushroom from another part of the yard. I could never decide if it was the same variety.

It lasted an unusually long time, so I photographed it many stages.

Unlike the purple mushrooms, which split from underneath, this orange-capped mushroom is splitting from the top down as it grows.

This mushroom with its deep red cap was very popular food source. It's probably related--if not the same species--to the "twin" mushrooms from my previous post on gilled mushrooms.

This mushroom had scaly cap...

…as did this one.

I never tired of seeing mushrooms muscling their way out of the ground.

This cluster of large, white mushrooms were hidden under a layer of fallen leaves.

A mature mushroom standing high about the leaf litter.

Large, off-white mushrooms of a type commonly found on our lawn.

This mushroom is splitting at the top as the cap matures.

The cap on this particular specimen had barely begun to unfold but had already spilt around a central point.

You can see it in the background after it matured in this photo showing two varieties of fungi.

This "lawnscape" shows the proliferation of white mushrooms in November.

A pair seen from the top...

….and from the side.

The emergence of another fruiting body has pushed one mushroom over on its side, revealing the arched structure of the gills.

While these dark brown mushrooms didn't grown in my lawn, I found them in several other lawns of my acquaintance.

They are, in fact, my favorite variety of lawn mushrooms.

They invert as they age in a particularly beautiful way...

…exposing their light brown gills.

This grouping shows the species in multiple stages.

Gills the color of chocolate buttercream.

Unlike most mushrooms I see of similar size and body type, this species grew in a tight clump.

The stalk on this mushroom was nearly six inches tall!

I found these red-capped beauties beneath a row of apple trees.

The largest were about two inches across.

They had a fairy-tale air about them.

They were definitely one of my favorite varieties among the many I found this fall.

And now on to the forest mushrooms...

I found these small, pale mushrooms growing DOWNWARD out of a decaying stump on long, slender stalks.

These brown-capped mushrooms are growing directly out of the side of a log end that also hosts some toothed fungus.

Tiny orange mushrooms grow on another log face under the umbrella of a polypore.

This larger mushroom was all by its lonesome as it projected from the side of a fallen log.

I believe this is the same variety as the mushroom above, just a more mature specimen...

But is this? Same growth habit, same stalk color, but a darker (more mature?) cap.

These deep orange mushrooms blaze against the green mossy tree they are growing on.

I thought this shade of orange was both striking and beautiful.

These paler orange mushrooms are growing out from the end of a log covered in white slime mold.

Gray mushrooms with fluted caps sprout from a mossy crevice.

The stalks appear to weaken as they age.

I found mushroom colonies of all kinds growing on or near fallen logs in the woods.

A spacious stair-stepping set...

….a crowded colony...

…and a spangled log...

…with a scattering of clusters.

This stump was covered with multiple colonies of photogenic fungi.

Its top and sides produced the seven photos below.

Corals cozy up with capped mushrooms.

The moss-covered top of a downed tree trunk also harbors many mushrooms... does this one.

A classic umbrella silhouette.

These yellow mushrooms had unusually limp and moist caps.

I liked the look of these little long-stemmed mushrooms on the end of a stick. I wonder what they looked like when their caps opened?

Small, ghostly, gray mushrooms whose caps are nearly transparent at the edges. (I think I DO have a picture of one of these in the earlier gilled mushrooms post, but it was a top view!)

This particular downed log spans a creek. A trio of mushrooms make a home on its limb.

These mushrooms overlook the water running white over the creek's rocks.

This tiny purplish mushroom clinging to the side of a log had a cap no larger than the nail of my little finger.

These mushrooms, as you can see...

...all grew in a row at the base of a fallen log.
Llittle gray mushrooms clustered next to a fallen log.

A different group of mushrooms had yellow centers and pale edges.

Here's a closeup of one of them.

There was one variety of mushrooms that very, very long, thin stalks

A closeup of the cap.

This grouping shows this type of mushroom at various stages of maturity.

These mushrooms were very dry in appearance.

A closeup of one of the caps.

These flared mushrooms were growing under the shelter of a log.

Detail of the underside of a mushroom's cap.

A big mushroom after pushing its way out of the dirt.

An upended mushroom.

Some critter had been pulling them up and snacking on them


This mushroom's cap was almost completely inverted by the time it got munched on.

This large mushroom--six inches across or so--had a brown cap and an upward-furling edge.

A view of the gills on the underside.

I always like the sight of a mushroom pushing up the fallen leaves.

Here's another mushroom that's broken free of its leafy blanket.

The most charming and unique mushroom habitat I encountered was this pinecone that was host to twin mushrooms.

It was impossible not to think of antennae or eye stalks when looking at these little mushrooms rising from the pinecone's tip!

Mushrooms sprouting in a tree cavity.

This broken snag had multiple varieties of mushroom growing on it.

I waited all winter for this particular type of mushroom to sprout on a stump at the stable where I ride horses. This one is about  foot across.

The wholly inverted structure creates gorgeous, gill-scored waves.

A rising fungal crescendo.

The underside of the mushroom was exposed when a horses knocked it off the stump. As you can see, it was producing still more waves!

It's one of the most beautiful mushroom's I've photographed.

Now, I don't rightly know what this next mushroom is. When I saw it near the mailboxes by my house, I thought it had been upended and snacked on by an animal. When I tried to turn it over with my toe, however, I discovered that it was still firmly rooted to the ground. The animal had been eating it from the top down! It looks like it was probably a mushroom with pores rather than gills. I'm sorry it did not get to assume its full size, as it was at least six inches across even in what I believe was a still-developing state.

Eaten from the top of the cap in.
A detail of the interior flesh.

A side view shows a little bit of the dark, leathery, textured cap exterior.

Speaking of other fungi varieties, I did encounter a few more interesting polypores.

One branch on this tree had a group of polypores along the underside.

As you can see (especially if you click on the photo to enlarge it), the pore surface has a jagged, or toothed, appearance.

Another view of the branch. I though they were an especially elegant collection.

These shelf fungi also had a jagged, toothed pore surfaces.

You can see both the underside and the unusual texture of the lip in this image.

I hadn't encountered any polypores quite like this one, so it was an exciting find!

I found this toothed fungus growing in a big patch in a tree cavity.

To round out the categories I've previously reported on, I also found more puffballs. This particular type grew in a dense colony and looked much softer than those whose photos I posted in the previous blog.

You can see the spores (especially if you click to enlarge) within this burst puffball.

The spent puffballs were very flaccid in appearance.

A still-firm puffball whose cap is just beginning to crack has an interesting textured surface

Another look at puffball spores.

I have things to say yet on the subject of lichens and molds, but this likely wraps up posts on what we might think of as more traditional fungi until next autumn. I hope you've enjoyed taking a photographic stroll through the various fruiting bodies of fungi that can be found in my neck of the woods between September and March and that it has perhaps opened your eyes to seeing what is sprouting all around you in your own.

In review:

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