Fall fungus gallery

A walk in the woods this time of year will turn up a vast array of mushrooms and other fungi. Here are just a few of the more photogenic specimens we spotted on a walk near the family cottage on Monday afternoon. Click on a thumbnail to view the full-size image.

  1. Ramaria sp., coral fungus
  2. Hericium americanum, lion’s mane: looking it up today, I discovered this bizarre fungus is edible, delicious and easy to cultivate in sawdust or other wood waste.
  3. Fomes fomentarius, tinder polypore: one of the fungi found in the possession of the 5,000-year-old Ice Man, it is useful in starting fires. It may also be useful as a source of natural dye.
  4. A much older tinder polypore on a fallen tree. This species is perennial, producing a new layer each year.
  5. Lycoperdom pyriforme, pear-shaped puffball: considered edible but not particularly tasty, this small puffball occurs abundantly on fallen branches in the woods around our cottage.
  6. Unidentified mushrooms
  7. Unidentified fungus
  8. Unidentified bracket fungus

7 thoughts on “Fall fungus gallery

  1. The Ramaria sp. and Hericium americanum are just beautiful…I’ve never seen those in my foraging times with Thaddeus. We’re hoping to go out and find Grifola Frondosa (Rams Head or Maitake) this weekend…one of my favorite eating mushrooms. I’ll look for others as beautiful as yours.

    1. Joe, I’ve become interested in foraging for wild mushrooms ever since I found a tree loaded with oyster mushrooms a few years ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the Hericium was edible until I identified it from the photo. I need to make a habit of carrying my field guide in the woods. I’m curious to know what you find this weekend.

  2. Saw an oyster mushroom growing on logs this morning, at a vendor’s stand at the farmer’s market, and thought of this entry. This guy grows fungi on logs that he inoculates with spores. It’s kind of cool to see the technique here.

    I dislike mushrooms due to textural squeamishness so I guess I’m missing out but they sure were pretty!

    1. Joe, you have inspired me to look into growing mushrooms. Thank you! We have a great mushroom vendor at our farmers’ market, too, but I have found sites that offer spawn for unusual species such as the lion’s mane included in this gallery.

  3. Beautiful photos, Van! Particularly loved Nature’s artistry in the shapely white fungus. This summer I took a natural dyeing class in which we dyed with Dyer’s polypore. We got a lovely warm gold color on wool.

    1. At a recent gathering of regional spinners and weavers guilds there was a vendor selling dye fungi. Danny and I picked up two to experiment with. I’m looking forward to it. Our woodland exploration last week inspires me to pay more attention to what edible and dye species are available to us.

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