Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Funky Fungi

Earlier this fall, between September 8 and 9, Tropical Storm Lee passed through, bringing buckets and buckets of rain, dumping over 7 inches and causing flooding throughout the Delaware Valley region and beyond. Normally, in early September, we have about 42 inches for the year but this year we had over 49 inches. 

This excess has also translated into more fungi and mushrooms to enjoy, such as  . . .

Elegant Stinkhorn (Mutinus elegans)
The top of it is covered in brown spores that are spread 
by insects, that are attracted to it
 due to its strong smell. 

  . . . and this Brain Fungus - not its official name - it is hard and hand sized and grows up in the grass. It had bites in it from the deer but must not be too tasty as it was left for not . . 

 . . . and these Puffballs - they were all over in various shapes and sizes. This one is hand sized and stalked. They are of the division of fungus called Basidiomycota and produce a cloud of brown dust like spores called statismospores as seen below when you step or poke at it. 

 . . . and also this type of  Puffball, but it is not stalked and grows up 
from the ground on a small stem that dies away. 

Here are a couple online mushroom identification guides:

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