Thursday, March 13, 2014

Our Mushroom Planet

~ Mushrooms & Fungi ~

Gems Of The Forest

When I first went out to capture my world with a camera, my focus was mushrooms.  Although that is in the distant past and I love all things I find, the fungi still fascinate me and call out for recognition.  

There are, literally, hundreds of pictures waiting in my "Ready To Post" folder, but few of them have an ID yet.  In spite of owning two fantastic field guides, and in spite of using four trusted and magnificent on line sites, most of my mushrooms and fungi remain a mystery.  There aren't a lot of common names floating around, and to pin a mushroom down, without question, to a firm identification, is almost impossible for me.  Some I know, some I will eventually discover.

I figure I'll post some here and hope you like them - a few will have some sort of name.

One very important caveat - remember this!


Fungi do not require chlorophyll to thrive.  They use the food-producing ability of other organic materials (like plants) and feed of that.  Many draw nourishment from tree roots or decaying branches, for example.  Fungi are scientifically closer to animals than plants - how strange - but they are not like any other kind of organism.  You can read more at these sites if you are interested:

All these pictures are from my immediate locale - Green Lane, Pennsylvania, USA, and they will give you an inkling of the awesome diversity of color, shape, and size. I'll post more from time to time as these don't even scratch the surface.

When you go walking, keep your eyes peeled for beautiful fungi.

I think this is a golden chanterelle - don't bet on it, however:>)

Indigo Lactarius

No ID - perhaps Leptonia

 This mushroom is hosting a crane fly.  They look a lot like mosquitoes but do not bite - have no fear:>)  Pennsylvania has over 300 species of crane flies, if I remember correctly, and they vary in size from big to really tiny.
 This one is tiny, and apparently feeds on mushrooms - amazing what one can see in the woods!

No firm ID for the mushroom.

Bolete-type  Boletes have a spongy underside, not gills


I have no idea-type

Hmmm - Bolete, I think

Wagon Wheel Mushrooms - a likely Pinwheel Marasmius

Best guess - Mycena

A very small Bolete-type

I call it the Eraser Mushroom - Got a better idea?

Possibly an Amanita

No ID yet

No ID yet

Hygrocybe is my best attempt
In order to get a good ID on a mushroom, you often need a spore print and a microscope.  Do not depend on your eyes.  Remember that some mushrooms are delicious and some can make you very ill, even cause death.  Collecting mushrooms is a job for true experts.

Thank you for coming by!