Saturday, November 5, 2011

fungi walk in a forest

mycologist emma harrower leads a walk through the woods. we learned that fungi can be endophytes, living within the leaves of trees. They can be detrivores, eating dead and decaying things, and also symbionts. they are mainly invisible to us, but occasionally they will make fruiting bodies or "mushrooms".

some mushrooms have white spores and some have black. others fire off their heads. emma even talked of carvivorous fungi, though we didn't see these. we learned the number of unknown fungi vastly outnumbers the known. So researchers like emma are true pioneers. we are at the stage that darwin was in when he explored the galapagos...there is so much to discover... Eventually we reached a grove of mushrooms, an unexpected treasure trove. it was so cool. we were careful to step around the fruiting bodies. All fungi were observed and then placed back where we found them. thanks emma for editing this post and IDing them for us!
Emma keeps it simple for the rest of us novice mycology buffs

a fungi that will eventually look like a bird's nest

white spores on this shroom

coral fungi

three different species of yellow fungi: left Hypholoma (Sulfur Tuft), centre Hygrocybe (Waxy Cap)

more of the bird nest variety. you can see the little "eggs". the top pops off, revealing little "eggs" in a spash cup. when raindrops fall in the cup, the "eggs" disperse.

Crucibulum laeve bird's nest fungi

it's a Stropharia ambigua (Questionable Stropharia) party!

another Hygrocybe (Waxy Cap)

these bird's nests are well hidden

an "LBM". Little Brown Mushroom: unexpectedly, some of them smell like bleach.

Boletus zelleri (Zeller's Bolete): a mushroom with pores instead of gills
also food and home to insect larvae


  1. question for anyone out there to answer: some of the birds nests appear to have moss growing around them. are these symbionts or are they just there?

  2. Its just a coincidence. You will notice that the sticks surrounding the nests are also green. Stropharia ambigua likes to grow in wet areas, which moss and algae also like to grow in.