On a trail run yesterday, I found a huge cluster of the most gigantic Pear-Shaped Puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme). There were ten or twelve of them growing in the path, probably on some buried wood. Unfortunately I had several miles to go and nothing to carry them in, so I just grabbed one for each hand. Usually these puffballs are only half this size, so this was a nice find, and they were a tasty addition to my dinner. -A. Small
The nicely timed rains and warm temperatures combined to bring out quite a few mushrooms in our woods. Above are just a few of the mushrooms that we have noticed. Left to right: Platterfull (Tricholomopsis platyphylla), brown cup fungi, Fawn (Pluteus cervinus). Unfortunately, the only edibles in our woods right now are Oyster mushrooms. My brother reported seeing a large fruiting of Sulfur Shelf on his way home from work, so keep an eye out for those edibles!
Growing in amongst the charred wood in my fire pit I found this single Coprinus lagopides. The mushroom measured about 1 1/4". C. lagopides. As it first emerged the cap was covered with a white coating of veil remnants. This diminishes with age and, as with other Coprinus sp. this mushroom turns black. Spore print is purplish black. The preferred habitat of C lagopides is charred wood.
These small mushroom clumps are popping up all over in our gardens, growing on the highly decomposed wood chips that we used for mulch. The early tentative ID is Pholiota veris, though we are still waiting for the spore print to verify. P veris is noted as for emerging right after morel season, which would be the case with these specimens. Also typical of this species is the growth habit in clumps on highly decayed wood. They also have a ring which is angled upwards at first then deteriorates to a fine, rust-brown ring. We will do a little more investigation before making a final call on this mushroom. Because these clumps were all growing on wood chip mulch in that was brought in from who knows where, it is possible that we are finding a related spring species P. vernalis, which occurs in the Northwest US.
UPDATE: after checking the rust-brown spore print color and looking at many more clumps of these mushrooms, Pholiota veris is the definite identification. contrib. by A. Small
The Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostriatus, is beginning to fruit in earnest. We picked a couple clumps on aspen snags this morning. The caps came with a compliment of Pleasing Fungus Beetles which will need to be turned out by a brief immersion in water before preparing these delicious fungi for the table. As always, the anise-like odor of these mushrooms was potent and pleasant. The air of the surrounding woods was lightly touched with that scent.
Dick and Darlene Volmer were lucky enough to pick a couple of meals worth of black morels in our area. Thanks for sharing Darlene and for making our mouths water:)
Walks with the dogs offer a chance to survey the surrounding woodlands. Today, we found some spring-inspired Oysters, Pleurotis ostreatus. The group of caps were pushing out from behind the bark of an Aspen log. It was a very young fruiting with 2 inch caps and fresh white gills. There were none of the black-bodied, red-headed Pleasing Fungus Beetles that inevitably are found in large, fully developed Oyster Caps. In spite of their small size the mushrooms gave off that strong anise scent typical of the species.
There were reports of Oyster fruitings in the Minocqua area as well as note of a large troop of Alcohol Inkys, Coprinus atromentarius.
Cora Mollen, author of Fascinating Fungi of the Northwoods and founder of Northstate Mycological Club.
Northstate Mycological Club