concentric patterns on fungus


A row of shrooms

row of mushrooms

Or toadstools. Whatever. Nice and wet and shiny in a very damp forest.

The inky caps are back in our driveway

inky cap mushrooms

I’m not sure why they like it so much, given that they keep getting driven over, and walked over, and knocked over by assorted dogs and wildlife. But they come back every year. These have moved from last year’s location, though.


conifer false morel 1

Well, that’s what they look like.

It’s actually the Conifer False Morel, Gyromitra esculenta—or sometimes called Helvella esculenta. I’ve seen quite a few around recently.

Mushroom pickers, be careful of this one. According to Audubon it contains a compound similar to one used in rocket fuel and can be deadly. (If properly prepared and cooked it is apparently can be eaten, but the sources I found suggested that even “proper” preparation might not destroy the toxins entirely.)

It’s certainly interesting to look at, though.

conifer false morel 2

conifer false morel 3

Cup fungus

cup fungus

I found these growing on dead, rotting wood the other day. The biggest ones were probably half a centimetre wide. I hauled out Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America (Vitt, Marsh, Bovey), which I’ve found a lot of lichens in, but nothing seemed to match these.

As you can see, they’re white with ochrish tinting inside, and like nothing so much as little cups or pots. I haven’t a clue what they are. Any ideas?

Lichen texture garden

lichen textures 1

A few days ago I found a lovely little lichen garden on a fallen tree. Here are some shots from it. I was fascinated by the textural patterning and how it all fitted together, and the subtlety of the colours.

lichen textures 2

lichen textures 3

Back to fungus

yellow fungus

I’ve no idea what this is, but it’s small. When I get home I’ll dig out my field guides and see if I can figure out what it is—meanwhile, if you have any ideas, please let me know! It seemed almost to be infesting this bush, bubbling all around the old branches.

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