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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Late Summer Mushrooms

With the arrival of our drizzly autumn weather, one thing I'm looking forward to is going out for some mushroom walks. Last year was the first year I really started paying attention to mushrooms, which, once you start looking for them, are all over the place during the wet season in amazing variety. In case you missed it, here are my series of posts featuring mushrooms last fall.

There aren't nearly as many mushrooms around in the drier summer season, but they aren't completely absent. Here are some mushrooms I stopped to photograph while out and about doing other things over the last few months.

I need to continue to work on honing my fungus ID skills as so far I've only been able to identify the species in the photo above. This is Lycoperdon perlatum, also known as the gem-studded puffball. This edible species is one of the most common puffballs in the Pacific Northwest. This one is just emerging, but at maturity a pore opens at the top through which the pores disperse.

Check out the diversity among the rest of the species in the photos below:

Did this last one fool you? It fooled me! I thought it was a fungus too, but after some consideration I think it is actually be Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora, a parasitic, non-photosynthetic perennial plant! I've read about this plant before and I've always wanted to see it, and then when I did, I didn't even recognize it as a plant. What a cool find though, even though I made the discovery by going through past photos rather than in the field!


Unknown said...

Lovely series on these Mushrooms. The variety stunned me...Thomas

Warren Baker said...

It's been very dry here Monika. We are waiting for rain before we get our fungi sightings.

Heather said...

Very nice mushroom walk, Monika! I really like that very first puffball. And the Indian Pipe is very cool. I found it growing on our property once, and it lasted for quite some time. I'd love for it to pop up again sometime.

Monika said...

Thomas - The variety always amazes me too!

Warren - I hope you'll post some photos when they do pop up!

Heather - I know, I'm partial to that puffball too. The lighting was especially nice in that photo as well. That's interesting to know Indian Pipe lasted for a while. I took that photo a while ago but maybe I should go back and check to see if its still there, now that I know what it is.