What next?

I was asked earlier today by a friend if the count is continuing.

Yes it certainly is but I am taking time away from daily posting here to concentrate instead on writing a Local Natural History based on these observations. That will fill the winter months ahead and it will be well illustrated and available in PDF and EPUB format, maybe even Kindle too. If the stars align it may be free and either way it will be very cheap.

Meanwhile here’s a picture of a new species for the list. Hare’s Foot Inkcap fungus.

#326 American Yellow Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria var. guessowii)

25 January 2021

This variety of the well known species Amanita muscaria is distinguished by its yellow to orange, rather than red, cap. Other trademark features are shared with the red version: numerous warts on the cap, a ring on the upper stem, and a distinctive stem base that features several shaggy “zones” of universal veil material on the upper edge of a basal bulb. Amanita muscaria var. guessowii is found in the northern Midwest and in eastern North America from the boreal forests of the northeast, south to the Appalachians.

Mycorrhizal with hardwoods and conifers; growing alone, scattered, or or gregariously, sometimes in arcs or fairy rings; summer and fall; widely distributed in the northern Midwest (south to Illinois) and in northeastern North America (south to the Appalachians).

#279 Pear-shaped Puffball (Apioperdon pyriforme)

08 December

Apioperdon pyriforme commonly known as the pear-shaped puffball or stump puffball, is a saprobic fungus present throughout much of the world. Emerging in autumn, this puffball is common and abundant on decaying logs of both deciduous and coniferous wood. It is considered a choice edible when still immature and the inner flesh is white.

#243 Northern Tooth Fungus (Climacodon septentrionalis)

02 November

[Putative ID] Climacodon septentrionalis is usually impressive, forming massive clusters that can be seen from many yards away. At this distance it looks like a polypore, growing on dead hardwoods or from the wounds of living trees. But while it is officially in the order Polyporales, it has teeth on its underside, rather than pores, and is usually treated with the toothed mushrooms.

The fruiting bodies of Climacodon septentrionalis are extremely durable and can last for many weeks–long enough, in fact, that the caps of old specimens often begin to take on a greenish hue as a result of colonizing algae. The mushroom is parasitic, causing a heartwood rot, and is especially fond of sugar maple and beech; it is frequently found growing from the wounds of these trees, high above the ground.

Parasitic on hardwoods, especially green ash, sugar maple, and beech; growing in large shelf-like clusters in the wounds of living trees, or on recently dead stumps or trunks; summer and fall;

#227 Pleated Inkcap (Parasola plicatilis)

17 October

A small saprotrophic mushroom with a plicate cap (diameter up to 35 mm) – widely distributed species in Europe and North America. This ink cap species is a decomposer which can be found in grassy areas, alone, scattered or in small groups. The fruiting bodies grow at night after rain, and will self decompose after spore dispersion is achieved. Otherwise, they are quickly dried up in morning sunlight, or will eventually collapse beneath the weight of their caps. It is inedible fungi species.

#219 Deer Mushroom (Pluteus cervinus)

03 October

Found on rotten logs, roots and tree stumps and is widely distributed. It can also grow on sawdust and other wood waste. Being very variable in appearance, it has been divided into several varieties or subspecies, some of which are sometimes considered species in their own right. It is edible, but of poor quality and not often collected for the table

#218 Pear-shaped Puffball (Apioperdon pyriforme)

02 October

A saprobic fungus present throughout much of the world. Emerging in autumn, this puffball is common and abundant on decaying logs of both deciduous and coniferous wood. It is considered a choice edible when still immature and the inner flesh is white. It is often called Lycoperdon pyriforme, but was transferred to Apioperdon in 2017 based on phylogenetic and morphological differences. It is the only species in the genus.

They are often pear-shaped as the name suggests, but they may also be nearly spherical. When very young they are covered in small white spines that typically fall off before maturity. A small developing pore may be visible at the top, while the sterile base of the mushroom is small and appears to be pinched in. Colour ranges from nearly white to yellowish brown with the darker shades developing with age. The central pore ruptures at late maturity to allow the wind and rain to disperse the spores. The base is attached to the wood by means of rhizomorphs (thick, cord-like strands of mycelium).

The gleba, or inner spore mass, is white when young, but it becomes greenish-yellow to dark olive-brown with age. The spores measure 3 to 4.5 µm and are round, smooth and a dark olive-brown in colour.

#202 Fairy Fingers (Clavaria fragilis)

17 September

A species of fungus in the family Clavariaceae. It is synonymous with Clavaria vermicularis. The fungus is the type species of the genus Clavaria and is a typical member of the clavarioid or club fungi. It produces tubular, unbranched, white basidiocarps (fruit bodies) that typically grow in clusters. The fruit bodies can reach dimensions of 15 cm (5.9 in) tall by 0.5 cm (0.2 in) thick. Clavaria fragilis is a saprobic species, growing in woodland litter or in old, unimproved grassland. It is widespread throughout temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere, but has also been reported from Australia and South Africa. The fungus is edible, but insubstantial and flavorless. There are several other small white coral-like fungi with which C. fragilis may be confused.

Grows in woodland and in grassland on moist soil, and is presumed to be saprobic, rotting fallen leaf litter and dead grass stems. The fruit bodies tend to grow in groups, tufts or clusters.[4] Although they can grow singly, they are typically inconspicuous unless in clusters

#201 Pluteus petasatus

16 September

Pluteus species are characterized by fruit bodies with a filamentous cap cuticle (pileipellis) and thick-walled pleurocystidia. Section Hispidoderma consists of species with a filamentous pileipellis and thin-walled pleurocystidia. Section Celluloderma is defined by a cystoderm pileipellis composed of ellipsoid to saccate-pyriform to vesiculose cells with or without cystidioid elements. The widespread genus contains over 300 species.

#187 Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantica)

2 September

Most giant puffballs grow to be 10 to 50 centimetres (4 to 20 inches), sometimes to be 90 cm (35 in) in diameter; although occasionally some can reach diameters up to 150 cm (60 in) and weights of 20 kg (44 lb). The inside of mature Giant puffballs is greenish brown, whereas the interior of immature puffballs is white. The large white mushrooms are edible when young. The fruiting body of a puffball mushroom will develop within the period of a few weeks and soon begin to decompose and rot, at which point it is dangerous to eat. Unlike most mushrooms, all the spores of the giant puffball are created inside the fruiting body; large specimens can easily contain several trillion spores.