Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Shady Trail, Abundant Fungi

My friend Sue had never explored the Warren County trails of Moreau State Park, so I showed her one today. We had to trespass briefly across private property (Shhh! Don't tell!), but we soon found the state park trail, which follows a beautiful tumbling stream through a mossy dark woods until it empties into the Hudson River. The shady forest was pleasantly cool on a warm muggy day, and the pretty stream kept up a companionable chatter as we ambled along.

I knew we would not find many flowers along this trail (too dark, too late in the summer), and we didn't, except for a few White Wood Asters and lots of Wood Nettle going to seed. But boy, did we find fungi! So many shapes and sizes and colors! We took lots of photos (look for Sue's eventually on her blog Water-lily), but of course most of mine were awful. Without a tripod or an indirect flash -- equipment I refuse to be saddled with on a nature walk -- most of my images came out all shaky. As I said before, a dark woods. But a few shafts of sunlight managed to pierce the shadowy darkness at times, so I did get a few so-so shots. I wish I knew the names of these fungi. Maybe some of my readers will fill us in.

As intensely colored as they are minute, these tiny red mushrooms could be Vermilion Waxcaps (Hygrocybe miniata).

I'm guessing these are Spindle-shaped Coral (Clavulinopsis fusiformis), but I could be mistaken. There are similar-looking ones in my mushroom guides, and I'd have to taste them to be sure. Which I didn't. Because I'm not sure.

Here comes the sun! And it lit this mushroom beautifully. I'm calling it Apricot Ruffles because I don't know its real name.

Could these lovely striped fans of many colors be Birch Lenzites (Lenzites betulina)? I failed to look underneath to see if their undersides were whitish and gilled. Next time I will.

Ooh, what is this green slimy thing? Is it the moribund form of that pale yellow clump next to it? Could it be Jelly Baby (Laotia lubrica)? I can't find an exact match in my mushroom guides, but that one comes close.

Hmm. . . . Could this be a Rag-veil Amanita (Amanita cinereopannosa)? It certainly has a raggedy veil. I should have rooted around to see if it had a bulbous rooting stalk. To really ID a mushroom you have to take it apart, study its structure, do spore prints, etc. But I just like to look at them. This one looks kind of spooky, like a mummy in a shredded shroud.

Not everything pretty was fungal. These ripening berries of Hobblebush (Viburnum alnifolium) glowed like jewels in the shady woods. They will eventually turn all red.


swamp4me said...

Very nice. We have an abundance of fungi along the trails here, too. We've had perfect weather for them the past few weeks.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Your yellow coral root could be Yellow Earthtongue (Microglossum rufum) - the two are often confused.

And your Lovely striped Birch Lenzites could be Turkey Tail fungi (Tramedes versicolor).

We mostly have molds up here...will be posting them soon.

Woodswalker said...

Thanks for your comments, Swampy and Ellen.

I don't think that yellow fungus is Earth Tongue because that one is more spatulate with a textured stalk. It could be Clavaria pulchra (also called Ramariopsis laeticolor), but who knows? I need to cultivate a mushroom buddy. Cornell Mushroom Blog, here I come!