Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fungi are Fun, Guys!

Bread Dough Mushroom

It's been fairly cool and wet this summer and fall, perfect fungi weather. When we go for a hike, I may not find birds, but the fungi are flourishing fantastically! Now, here's the problem. I don't have a good fungi field guide, and when I try to look online, all I find are Latin names. I don't do Latin, thank you. So I have fun making up my own names if no one else in the group knows. I ordered what looks like a good book, and it won't be here for a while yet, so just enjoy my imagination on these. After all, mushrooms can be as pretty as flowers, can't they?
Chocolate Bread Dough

Yellow Frillies

Witch's Butter (someone else came up with this name) - a jelly fungi. Squeeze and it slimes all over your fingers.

Purple Umbrellas

Dead Man's Finger - That's it's real name, and apparently it's fairly rare since the naturalist was excited to find it. I would have called it Duck Head myself.

Frilly Pumpkin Turkey Tails

Birds Nest - this is the real name. If you brush against them the "eggs" burst and the spores are released to the air.

More jelly fungi

White Branch Straddler - it only grew on the bottom of this small branch.

Shelf fungi are fairly common, but this one was quite large. The naturalists pulled one from the tree trunk to show us its root, which was larger than his thumb, as you can see.
Little Orange Pearls

We found a tree at Bernheim that had 10 or 12 different kinds of fungi along its dead trunk. Between the hurricane in Sept 2008 and the Jan 2009 ice storm, Kentucky has an abundance of dead trees. A real fungi feast! We noticed that the fungi and lichens tended to start growing in the crevasses in the bark. You can see them lined up in rows - first a row of Turkey Tails, then a row of green moss and lichens.

Tortellini Mushroom

One of the nicest things about fungi is their willingness to pose as long as you need for the perfect photo. They don't blow in the wind, and they don't move around just as you take the shot. I appreciate that in nature!

3 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely photographs! So often we totally miss the fungi as we walk through the woods. Thanks for grounding us. They are beautiful.

Mary Beth said...

Sorry mom,Yellow frillies looks like yellow coral to me, and the purple umbrellas remind me of cranberry sauce at thanksgiving.

D - Wing said...

Logs of intresting fungi. Have you seen Fly Agaric? http://d-wing.blogspot.com/