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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fungi Finds

Here in southern Wisconsin you don't usually see much fungal variety.  Even the ones I'm showing you today from my 2 night campout in Kettle Moraine aren't very exciting.  The first shot is actually not a fungus but monotropa uniflora, also called ghost plant or Indian pipe.  I love its delicate stalks.

I was pretty excited when I saw it, the only other glimpse I've had was in Newfoundland of all places.  Here's my blurry shot from that sighting.  Couldn't get it to focus, can't remember why.  Operator error, for sure!  I was having the same problem with the above photo until I switched to full auto mode.  I hate shooting in full auto, but the above shot did turn out very nice.

The ghost plant is mycotrophic, which means it gets part of its nutrient supply from a symbiotic association with fungi, therefore I'm going ahead and including it here with its fungal friends.  Check out the highlighted link, more mycotrophic flowers with cool names like sugarstick!

The above tree had an impressive display of a common fungal variety in our area. I loved the lavender tinge to the edges so I got a close-up below.

Just down the loop from my campsite sat this proliferation of orangeness on a tree stump.  Only orange I've seen so far this fall!

You're probably thinking, wow! What diversity!  Remember these were taken in four different areas of the forest covering at least 10 miles of paved roadside or trailside.  I looked hard for these guys, most fungi I happened to see were of the humdrum variety.

The above is an example of that humdrum variety, but located in an interesting spot!  It was rather large as well, bigger than my fist.

I saw a total of three of these white and red mushrooms, this one was the least damaged.  Some Boy Scouts were passing me on the Ice Age Trail and I told them to keep their eyes peeled for it up ahead.  They were moving very fast and were probably seeing absolutely nothing on their hike.  What a shame.

After they went by me so fast I decided to leave a little nature still life by the side of the trail to delight some kid passing by in the future.  I hope someone sees my work and appreciates the colorful grouping.  This mushroom was about the size of my thumb! It was the only one like it I saw it all day.  As you can see, a few leaves have changed and fallen off trees, but fall color hasn't really even begun yet, those are just the ones too eager to wait.  I'm hoping my next hike in Kettle Moraine will have some color to keep me entertained.


  1. Fungi gets everywhere and I wonder how much is safe to eat.

  2. I love seeing the different types of fungi from your neck of the woods.

  3. Really loved seeing your fungi photos. Makes me think of my friend out in Oregon who studies and classifies fungus for the US gov't. His e-mail address is: "fun_guy". etc etc. You folks make me want to head out in the woods and see what I can find.

  4. I love to find fungus (fungi??) in the woods. I thought I remember reading someplace that there is a way to cook and eat that big brown fungus growing off the side of the tree. Gosh, I don't know where I read that now.

  5. I think these are truly exciting! What a great collection. I have never seen Indian Pipes before and they are fantastic.