Thursday, December 10, 2009

Frozen mushroom medley

We finally got to the Watershed Park to look for mushrooms. It is far too late, of course; the ground is frozen, and the familiar rainy-weather mushrooms have gone into hiding again. It took us a while before our eyes became accustomed to the drab brown of fallen leaves, dead branches, and bare soil so that we could notice the frost-hardy species, mostly smaller, hugging the relative warmth of rotting wood.

I don't recognize any of these, except to place them in a general category; shelves, crusts, tongues, etc.  It didn't help that the light was poor, and mushrooms don't respond well to the flash; their colours often change under bright light, so that a photo of a mushroom that I see as grey turns out almost orange or purple. Whites flash right back, like so many mirrors. I forgot to bring a diffuser. I'll try to remember next time.

These little tongues look like dancing ghosts. Or frozen flames.
Update: probably Carbon Antlers, Xylaria hypoxolon. Thanks, Dave.

Huddled in a depression in the bark. Shrivelled and dried from the cold, anyhow.

These handle the coldest of winters bravely. I never know if they're turkey tails or turkey tail look-alikes.

Small "bookend" fungus. It could be a shelf fungus, but the tree has fallen to expose the underside.

Round, soft-looking "doilies".

One of the "normal" mushrooms, shivering.

Tiny, thick-stemmed mushrooms hiding in a crack.

These are strange; no thicker than a coat of paint. White targets.

I brought a larger grey/maroon mushroom home and am making a spore print. I'll post that tomorrow or Saturday.


  1. Hi S.
    Your dancing flames look to be Carbon Antlers or Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon) - hard to get decent mushrooms with this weather isn't it? That one seems to be a little tougher than most mushrooms which might explain why it's doing so well.

    Looking forward to your ID of your gray mushroom!

  2. Thanks, Dave. I had just decided, after going through several websites and my mushroom book (Audubon), that it was probably Carbon Antlers. I'm glad you agree.

    I still can't decide on any of the others.

    The gray one is taking its time dropping spores. Maybe in the morning.

  3. I have several good pictures of the "doily" mushroom. I can't find an official name for it either though.


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