Posts Tagged 'fungi'

Yes, It’s Actually This Orange

This sure jumps out at you, doesn’t it? Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria aurantia).
A couple of patches had been recorded in Green-Wood by others on iNaturalist and I just had to see it in person. I was not disappointed.

With the library, my main source of books, shut down for months and now hard to get to, I’ve not read a lot of natural history this year. But we have Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures on tap, so stay tuned. (“Merlin Sheldrake”? Surely an alias…)


It’s Pearl Harbor every day now with COVID deaths, and the criminal moral depravity that is the President plays golf and tweets about TV. We’re almost at 9/ll levels, every single day, and Mitch McConnell, that malignity, sends the Senate home. More people were reported dead on Tuesday from this disease in the US than in all of Japan during all of 2020 (so far), and we still haven’t gotten the full numbers from Thanksgiving weekend.

Beauty and Slime

This was too high up, on a dead part of a big red oak, to get a better photo, but damn, isn’t it amazing? The Asian Beauty (Radulomyces copelandii) fungus is a recent introduction from Asia, with the first East Coast records in Massachusetts only from 2011. It seems to be moving fast. The Japanese name translates as “Hanging Needle Mushroom.”
Three days later, the stalactite-shapes had some nice caramelization… I guess time will tell if this becomes a problematic species.
Something that could use some caramelization? This is a slime mold, perhaps a Mucilago, on a wood chip pile. Scrambled eggs or dog vomit? Dog Sick Slime Mold is a contender for the ID here, actually.

That’s right, the orange bits are moving. They seem to be Vitronura springtails.Slime molds cover some territory as a term, as explained here. They used to be considered fungi but are no longer. Like animals, plants, or fungi, they are eukaryotes, but they’re not animals, plants, or fungi. They’re Protists.

Mushroom/Mammal Mashup Monday

Watched this one eat two small gilled mushrooms that it rooted out of the sward.Discarded the woodsy stems…

Mushroom Monday

My boot, at bottom of image, is almost exactly one foot long.
An enormous example of Berkeley’s Polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi).
Another large polypore, Black-staining (Meripilus sumstinei).
Details of the Black-staining.

Mushroom Monday

Common Bird’s Nest Fungi (Crucibulum laeve), sometimes also known as White Egg Bird’s Nest fungi. The English muffin form (upper left above) is the early stage. Not sure how it loses its top, but then the “nest” is exposed with the “eggs” or fruiting bodies, as in the lower right.
These were growing on what I presume is coir, woven in mats and used to protect slopes. It rots into the bank, and clearly the fungi are helping it rot.
This is Dung-loving Bird’s Nest (Cyathus stercoreus).
Prolific in a richly-mulched planting area.

Mushroom Monday

Lots of rain, lots of mushrooms. Here’s one.
This orange puff ball is Calvatia rubroflava.
Under a pignut hickory, along with a few remains of others.
And a little further away.

Witches’ Broom

A hackberry tree, Celtis occidentalis. Notice the clumpiness in the canopy?
A slightly closer view of one fo the clumps. (They were all out of hand’s reach.) This is witches’ broom, a gall-like growth of branches sprouting in multiples. Hackberry is particularly susceptible. In this case, it seems to be caused by a combination of a fungus and a mite. I gather the mite carries the fungus…

It is thought to be:

“attributed to two agents acting together: a powdery mildew fungus (Sphaerotheca phytoptophila) and a minute, wormlike, eriophyid mite (Eriophyes celtis, synonym Aceria snetsingeri) about 200 microns long.”

The mite’s name has recently been changed to Aceria celtis.

Evidently there are strains of hackberries that are immune to it. People think it’s unsightly. People!

This specimen is in Prospect Park. There are two young hackberries outside our window here. You may remember that the city’s street tree survey insisted they were hawthorns. We fixed that. Just the other day I noticed that one of them had some witches’ broom in it. I don’t think the tree had any there last year. I’m not positive, but I don’t feel like they were there.

Amber Jelly

Under two mature oaks, one red and one willow. Windfall branches from the canopies after a recent rain-snow storm. (Over-exposed coin just over an inch across for scale.)
Both trees’ branches were sporting this jelly raisin-like stuff. It seems to be Amber Jelly Fungus (Exidia ricsa).
I’ve never see this at eye-level or below, only on branches/twigs that have fallen down. There’s stuff going on way up there that we earth-bounders rarely see.

A Miscellany

Indian pipe in fruit.
A spider wasp of some kind, found dead on this car. The pearly paint really shows up in detail; I bet its production is toxic as hell. The Pompilidae family of spider wasps has some 5000 species in it…
There are a number of fungi that stain wood various colors. Denim blue may be the best known of these colors. Possibly something in the Chlorociboria genus.
An old park sign.
This pollen-smeared bee kept going into and under these clumps in the hexpavers. Searching for a place to quarry a nest?
Shadow of a skipper.
Fruit of False Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum). They’ll redden up as they get riper. Who eats these? Ruffed grouse and other birds, white-foot mice and a few other mammals. We don’t have grouse in the city. Of the leaves: deer sometimes eat them but not often, and other herbivores leave them alone. Penn State says “this lack of herbivore pressure greatly assists the continued persistence and growing abundance of false Solomon’s seal in its forest habitats.”
Room with overhanging roof…
Fall webworm around a walnut.
A silky hideaway.
Greta Thunberg on the Malizia II passing the Statue of Liberty yesterday afternoon. This is the view from the moraine.

Mushroom Monday

On twigs brought down…and way up.


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