alexpgp: (Default)
After making my peace last Sunday, the 20th, with a protracted lack of connectivity (including cell service from T-Mobile), it wasn't hard to stay off the electronic grid on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but I get ahead of myself.

Huntür, Mathew, and I set off for Denver at 9 am on Sunday. On the way over the Wolf Creek Pass, we stopped at Site Lima and Site Romeo, where we found, respectively, some lobster mushrooms and incredible devastation.

The lobster mushrooms (way more orange in person than in the photo):

The devastation:

The pine trees whose needles were turning brown six years ago in response to having been killed by pine bark beetles now stand starkly in a depressing study of grays. However, new saplings are appearing everywhere, though it will probably take decades for the forest to recover.

On the way back to Highway 160, I passed what I initially dismissed as a nice, new softball that has been discarded on the side of the road, but then the mushrooming circuits in my brain kicked in, and I stopped the car and backed up. That "softball" turned out to be a puffball, in pristine condition and most edible.

After those short stops, we continued over the pass and eventually elected to take the "inland" route to Denver, consisting mostly of Highway 285. Once we eventually gained access to Interstate 25 near Denver, we then turned south, toward Parker, where some old friends had graciously agreed to put me and the kids up for the night.

More later...
alexpgp: (Default)
I happened across a reference to the Long Island Mycological Club on the web yesterday, and learned that the club organizes "forays" on selected Saturdays. An email inquiry revealed that there was one scheduled today, starting at 10 am, at the Edgewood Oak Plains Preserve off of Commack Road. 

I made sure to attend.

The group consisted of about a dozen people, including a journalism/philosophy major from my alma mater, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, just down the road (relatively speaking).

The stroll took about 4 hours, and I captured images of specimens and conversation about them using my camera's video mode.

I may also have found my first matsutake, but I want to go back and review the videos and recall more precisely what the more experienced members of the group called it.

Photos and more tomorrow.

I got home at nearly 3 pm, whereupon I began to deal with our reason for being here (or part of it), the leaves from all the trees on the property. When I arrived about 10 days ago, before I left for Boston, there were hardly any leaves on the ground. Now, in places, the leaves are a few inches thick.

It was an active day, for sure. And it turns out the fitbit is smart enough not to accumulate steps while one is driving a car.

alexpgp: (mushroom)
Mushroom season around these parts typically occurs in the second half of August, although one of the results of last year's copious daily rains was an early season that kicked off about a month early. I hadn't been around earlier in the summer, but I was reliably informed that rainfall this year was not anything to make a big deal about, and mushrooming treks made earlier this season were initially successful, but subsequently disappointing.

Yesterday, after noticing an eruption of mushrooms along the side of the road across from the City Market shopping center, I got to thinking about recent rains and lack of really cold temperatures and I decided—armed only with my trusty canine companion Shiloh, a couple of plastic bags, and a pair of scissors I found in the glove box (which made a serviceable cutting implement)—to travel down a road I call "Shaggy Way" that takes me via a rather circuitous route from "downtown Pagosa Springs" toward home.

It's the kind of road where, from time to time, you can spy the Rockies through the trees.

The photo above was taken scant yards from a stump that has developed a local ecosystem of sorts, comprising moss, lichen, some gray basidiomycete fungus (I think), and a lone example of what might possibly be a Velvet Foot (but I'm guessing).

On the one hand, I like the shot, which I've cropped somewhat, but on the other, the cropping turned out sort of freaky, because the result almost looks like a landscape from the air, where the moss and gray strands look like a forest of some kind, the cracks in the wood look like cliffs, and only the giant orange mushroom is the lone anomaly.

Fantasy aside, I've learned enough, over the years, to reliably recognize some basic mushrooms—chanterelles, king boletes, hawk's wings, aspen boletes, shaggy manes, and even the occasional clutch of oyster mushrooms. My knowledge of other fruiting fungi, especially of gilled mushrooms, is rather sparse.

My spore printing skills are not too shabby, but even with that information, it's pretty clear that I need to make better notes about the environment surrounding the specimens that I find. That, and ask others for pointers so as to have a good point of departure for learning more about specific mushrooms.

Among the specimens I found yesterday were the following:

1. A coral mushroom (Ramaria?). There are a lot of these in the woods.

2. Some sort of Clitocybe?


3. Possibly a Gymnopilus of some kind? These are quite common.


4. Is this a honey mushroom?


P.S. Cross-posted to [ profile] mycology.
alexpgp: (Default)
While walking around the terrain near where we live in southwest Colorado, I found a branch of scrub oak, about 1.5-1.75 inches thick, lying on the ground, along which were growing the following mycological specimens:

I've never seen such mushrooms, and while the red-orange color reminds me a little of beefsteak mushrooms, they seem way too small. Also, since it's starting to get pretty cold at night here around 7700 ft of altitude, I was pretty surprised to see any mushrooms at all.

Pretty, though.


P.S. Wow, does Semagic make it easy to post images to LJ, or what!

Tally ho!

Aug. 21st, 2009 06:33 pm
alexpgp: (mushrooming)
I made the ham breakfast this morning and had a nice time. I brought Shiloh along (she waited in the van while I ate), and after breakfast, we took off for site Lima - still no mushrooms - and then off down a Forest Service road not far from Treasure Falls.

The road was rougher than I remember it, and there were a couple of places I could not avoid scraping the bottom of the car against rocks jutting up from the road bed, but we eventually got to the trail head, where we got out and looked around.

I heard running water, so we headed in that direction. Shiloh had fun splashing in the water while I scanned the trees along the river's edge. To my great surprise, I saw a clutch of mushrooms, growing out of a live conifer about 15 yards from the water's edge.

Tally ho!

I'm still waiting to get a spore print, but a preliminary pass through a couple of my handbooks suggests (a) it's not edible, and (b) that it may be a member of the Pholiota family, despite the fact that the cap isn't slimy to the touch (it hasn't been very wet around here for several days).

In other places where, in years past, I have spied mushrooms growing, there was nothing. It's still too early.


P.S. Cross-posted, mostly, to the [ profile] mycology community (where comments are more likely to be found).

Update: The spore print is brown, and the gills are free or adnex, which supports the Pholiota hypothesis

Any ideas?

Sep. 2nd, 2007 09:58 pm
alexpgp: (mushrooming)
The translation is complete.

* * *
Here are the shots of the mushrooms at my parents' house on Long Island. It would appear these are definitely boletes, but which?

Bolete I

Bolete II

I had been under the impression that the pore mass stained when disturbed, but cracking the cap in half showed no discoloration, except locally.



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