Saturday, November 12, 2016

Beside Woodhus Slough

The annual winter Comox Valley Trumpeter Swan count started again a few weeks ago. My group this year will be surveying the Woodhus Slough once a week until the end of March, following a path that skirts the shore side of the slough.

The trail goes from Salmon Point Marina to the Oyster River estuary. 

The official public trail crosses the slough before it turns towards the shore, but this year, with all the steady rain we've been having, that part of the trail is completely flooded.

Only the tops of the fence posts along the trail are visible.

This area, in other years, has been open field. There are a few ducks, mallards and pintails, at the far side.

It is a pleasant walk, but we have seen few birds. Someone was out hunting; we heard the shots, and the distant clamour of Canada geese as they fled the area. A large flock of snow geese flew overhead, circled a couple of times, and left. And there have been no swans yet.

But there are mushrooms everywhere; showy amanitas, small brown umbrellas, wine-red Russulas (I think), and more.


Fly agaric. Orange or red cap, with remnants of the veil, white gills and stem, with more veil shreds.

An almost clear cap, but the obvious "skirt" of the torn veil around the stalk.

Another, with reindeer lichen. I don't know if this is the same species; some Amanitas are edible. But I'm not experimenting, because others are extremely toxic.

Typical fly agaric. Deadly poison, but very pretty.

Almost colourless.

Apple-red mushrooms:

Red caps, white stalks and gills.


Clean, white gills and stalk. No traces of a veil.

And another pink mushroom:

Unidentified. There were only a few of these.

And a patch of white coral fungus:

These are growing on a pile of crumbling logs, covered in moss.

Each clump is about the size of my (small) fist.

And a bit more lichen. These are everywhere; on logs, on bare soil, on moss.

Arrow tip to tip is about 2 km.


  1. I found a black mushroom somewhat similar to the pink one you found. I think mine is called Elfen Saddle or Helvella lacunosa. It had a similar stem and cap, but was black on top and a gray fiberous stem. Have you seen any like that on the Island? - Margy

    1. I may have seen a patch of the Elfen Saddles; unfortunately, they had all been trampled by someone building a fence, so all I have to go by are the colour and a bunch of fragments. The other thing about the Helvellas is that they are not gilled, but have a fuzzy undersurface. Something to look out for.


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