We were getting off the subject on another thread, just discussing some strange fungi and related things. I'm not expert, but I find this sort of thing fascinating. It's not pretty flowers, but it's nature, and each thing that grows depends on something else to make it happen. What sorts of things like this interest you?
Let's Talk Fungi and Such
Weez, my love of fungus is way up there, close to my love of flowers. Until I moved here in the woods, I never realized what beautiful fungus there really was out there, at all different times of the year.
One of my favorites is Crowned Clavaria, pictured here. I found a log that was full of it.
Do you get a lot of fungus up there?
Oh, my, that's a beauty! I'm jealous. Yes, we get several types here. Of course, I've just recently taken interest, so I don't know much about them, and I'm not sure which are fungi! Of course, we have many, many kinds of mushrooms. We're a coastal town, and when the rainy season hits, they start erupting out of the ground all over my yard. It looks like 'Night of the Living Dead'! Here's some sort of little puffball with spikes on it.
Yes, we get some similar to that here, I think. They usually come up around the spruce, I think. It's interesting to hear what their relationships are with plants.
Those Parasols were huge, larger than any I've seen before, and growing under mature sweet and horse chestnut.
I had a discussion with a botanist friend who was explaining the relationship of broomrape to our alder. It was really fascinating. It seems it is a beneficial relationship for all, involving the release of nitrogen. I'm really stupid about these things, but I find all these fellows fascinating. Here's a link to a bit of info about some of our lesser appreciated forest friends. Girdwood is situated about 42 miles south of Anchorage.
Look forward to the link ;)
We have lots of mistletoe here - I must take some photos and find out more....
I've really just started trying to identify them in the past few years. I remember seeing something like your spiked puffball last year Weez, and could't identify it.
The Amanita is beautiful ! I don't find red ones here........I first thought the mainly liked conifers but now I see that many of the Amanita like broad-leaved trees and oaks too.
Speaking of Broomrape, a few years ago I stumbled upon a dried Squawroot in our woods. That was a first, and only. I really know nothing about them other than they're parasitic.
Winter is usually the time of year that I add books to my collection.........mainly field guides.
Can anyone recommend a good fungi book? I need one badly.
Wow, I just looked up lichens. I see them all the time.......I think every other tree here has some sort of moss or lichen on it, but I always just thought they were a type of moss. They're actually a combination of alga and fungus ! I need to learn more !
This unusual fungus was growing out of old spruce logs that were used as an edging along a hiking trial in my neighbourhood. Its some species of Phaeolus. Lovely pattern and colouring. the edges were very fuzzy. Mind you, this pic was taken on Nov. 12. Never expected to see such a lovely fungus that late in the year.
Amanita muscaria can be found in the US too. Except the color is orange- yellow, not red. I find them in NE Pennsylvania all the time.
Nice shot Todd..........reminds me of a fungus we call "Turkey Tails".
Thanks for reminding me of that site RUK. I found it once before but only looked in the wildlife/people pages. I'll check it out.
I didn't know the Fly Agarics are a different colour in the US RUK
I'm so sorry, I forgot to link that website. It refers to an area along the Seward Highway that skirts Cook Inlet: http://girdwood.net/tacl/forplant.htm
Todd, your fungus looks like what we call shelf fungus. They grow on old logs. Some grow old & harden. For many years, Alaskans used to collect these dried fungi and paint on the white site of them: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3921681170
DiOhio, there are many kinds of lichen growing here in Seward. I've even got some growing in my yard! The heads coming out of yours are really strange. I've never seen that.
Here is a picture of some lichen growing in a pot with mimulus minima. The little fellows at the tip of the fingers is the 'bloom' (whatever it is actually called) on our local lichen.
"Has anyone ever seen lichens bloom?
Is that what's happening here?"
I just spent some time with that beautiful Lichen book:
I wouldn't write this in ink, but the Lichen in your picture comes closest in looks and description to : Cladonia coniocraea, or Common powderhorn.
those tapered things arising from the body ( thallus) are the fruiting structures, called podetia
How cute Weez. That reminds me of Common Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha).
Thanks RUK, I'm gonna do a search and read about powderhorn. I've never heard it it.
This gets pretty confusing. I thought moss and lichens and find out there's so much more to it. There's so many different kinds !
The 2 pics of the British Soldiers on that site were great !
And keeping with the black.........Black Witches' Butter (Exidia glandulosa).
When it's fresh it's more brownish-red, and feels like Jello ! This one also grows on wood from broad-leaved trees.
Jelly fungi dry out for long periods (it looks like dried black paint), only to revive and resume growth when they get soaked with water. Witches' Butter is often seen in winter woods when melting snow moistens the logs. Each time a jelly fungus revives, it produces new masses of spores over its wrinkled surface.
Last week we had a bad storm when a cold front moved in and I found a branch laying in the driveway that was full of it.
These are just wonderful, guys! Next season, I'm really going to make sure I photograph all I can around here. Keep em comin!
I'm so enjoying these pics, ya, keep em coming, this subject has always fascinated me!!!
And of course we have to include the Common Morel (Morchella esculenta) which many would consider the king of all fungi. It's quite a delicacy. Some years I find dozens and dozens, and other years I'm lucky to find a few dozen.
This one picture is the biggest one I've ever found, and it was a double-header, with one side measuring about 10 1/2" long and the other side measuring 9 1/2" long. It weighed almost 3/4 of a pound. There were 27 other morels right around this one, and some of those measure 8-9" long ! They were right in my front yard, behind a logwall
The first year I discovered morels here was when I was mowing the front yard for the first time that spring and almost mowed them over. There were 73 morels in that patch.
Are morels that large tough when you cook them?
I don't know darius, I don't eat them, I give them away. But I think I've heard people say they are more tender when they're smaller. Most people don't seem to care much what size they are.
Xenomorf, what a bright fungus ! Did you find these under conifers? If so they could be Yellow Jelly Fungi (Guepiniopsis alpinus) or young Orange Peel (Caloscypha fulgens).
There's also a Yellow Cup Fungus but that wouldn't be in your area.
There is however a Blue-green Cup Fungus that you'd see in your area. It's a very strange color for a fungus.
This pic has some of what I think is Yellow Cup Fungus (Bisporella citrina). Cup fungi can be cups or flat saucers
I was hoping I could slip this one in somehow without revealing the gory details of what it's growing on.......but, it's on doggy stuff. (whince).
After a couple days of drizzle rain. Not sure what it is or if it belongs in my area or not.
it's 1/8th to 1/16th inches diameter. But the brightness is what caught my eye.