Sunday, February 20, 2011

The more I see, the less I know.

On logs tossed up along Centennial Beach, I occasionally find strange white, spiky mushrooms. Each new encounter is more confusing than the one before; they look the same at first glance, feel the same, grow in the same places. Yet each time they're so different that they may be another species entirely.

This year's crop brings new doubts.

Could be common split gills.

Close up for peaky "meringue" texture. They feel dry and leathery.

The underside, with flash, showing the pinkish gills, many forked, or "split".

They're so distinctive that they should be easy to id. But here are the 2009 crop:

Same texture, same colour, another driftwood log on the same beach.

Another batch on this log was shaped more like the usual ones.

And the year before; more like this year's. But ...

The gills were very different.

All very frustrating. Or fascinating. Or both.

(And there's another photo; Laurie caught me, elbows and knees in the sand, rear prominent, nose to the log end, red collection bag at my side, and a tipsy yellow and green garbage can looming over me. Ah, the indelicate poses my passion for small things forces me into! And no, I'm not posting the photo.)


  1. Made me laugh on the "unpublished" photo description! :)

  2. Are you sure the first 2009 one hadn't been broken off or eaten by something?

    Re unposted photo: I have been known to embarass my family by similar moves :-)

  3. How lovely! Good eye. Joyful visit.

  4. Absolutely no idea what these are - that's why I like your blog so much

  5. Hmmm. I'm with you when it comes to knowing less the more I see. :))

  6. Roberta,
    I don't think it was broken; it seemed to be growing out of the splinters, though, so maybe the break happened while it was still growing through the wood.


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