Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Fun Guy's (fungi) in my Yard

This is Parker, my husbands-cousins-kid...which technically doesn't make him my real relation, but doesn't take away from the fact that he's a fun guy, on one of my painted fungi, yard artworks. I had a few friends over for drinky-winky's Sunday morning and while touring the garden I found a mushroom that looked like my painted Ash stumps but after a few Bloody Mary's, I forgot to get back out and take a picture. Parker's image will have to suffice. When doing a bit of research I realized that the quintessential 'toadstool' red and white polka-dotted wonder (A.muscaria) , which is closely related to conifer growth (I have an Afghan Pine in my yard) favorite of the groovy generation, once hunted by myself with copious other cannery workers in Alaska...another chapter, involving the accidental drugging of my Maine Coon, Geronimo, which incidentally turned him into the coolest, bath taking feline ever...was not exactly what I found. The pattern, height and shape were on target but the color was slightly was a bit orangy. That variety is the Flavivolata...alas, having the same properties, but I missed my chance. Damn.
Isn't he a bit impish?

The defining features of the Amanita muscaria species group are:
The presence of warts on the cap;
The presence of a ring on the upper stem;
Concentric zones of shagginess at the top of the swollen stem base.
I didn't have one...I think, though my memory is a bit...blurry.

Fuligo Septica "dog vomit" slime mold
The lovely breathing super cell organism recently re-coded as a mold vs. fungi appears in my yard regularly. Last year was the first time I found it though and my sister in-law sent me a mini time-lapse image of it is wild! It reproduces by spores and feeds on microorganisms in dead plant material. They range from a few centimeters on up...the largest one recorded was 30sq. meters...sounds like a bad B-rated film...The Dog Vomit that ate Austin!
I was unable to hunt that factoid down though, so it could all be just an amarita flight of fancy.
Found this group this morning growing under a Cast Iron leaf in my newly spread Sylvan Mulch beneath the American Elm in the backyard. It's quite lovely and they tend to come up regularly after a rain. Anyone know what they are...and more importantly, can I eat them?

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii
And how about these beauties growing under my Peggy Martin Rose. They've come up before but this morning I had 12. The most common mushroom I find in my yard is tricholoma pardinum the generic squat, whitish mushroom with brown spots, and this tiny skinny brown thing that literally seems to melt by afternoon. Next time I buy compost I'm going to check out that mushroom compost and see what kind of stuff I get growing!

Happy Gardening!


Bob said...

If the compost has any cow remnants and you have a little luck, maybe you'll grow a little tan mushroom that bruises a bluish color at the end when it gets broken off. Now that there is a funguy.

Or so I'm told.

ConsciousGardener said...

Ohhhh, Bob...Do tell! I've never heard of such a fungi! I hope you're coming to the sure to hunt me down and say "Hi!"

bob said...

I certainly will, if I can be town. Your garden certainly looks incredible through your pics.

Bob said...

Your post took me back. Has that ever happened to you? You know, read something and a memory jumps into your head.

Lyn's Uncle, Orson Miller, was one of the foremost authorities on mushrooms and fungus in the world. He had traveled the world, studying them. You could not talk about anything else with him. We were talking salmon fly fishing in eastern Russia. He told of the many bears along the streams. Oh, and there was the coolest mushrooms growing out of the bear scat. They were bright red and they blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada. It has left a bad taste in my mouth for mushrooms ever since.

I'm going to try to come on the tour and see your garden. If I make it I won'e tell any mushroom stories, I promise.