Mushrooms of Cook ForestWednesday, August 21, 2013
Do you remember how I made one of my New Year's Goals to identify five new mushrooms? Well I was starting to think it wasn't going to happen. I'm not hanging out in the same spots I was finding mushrooms before and even if I were I already know the majority of what grows there, which would make spotting and identifying new things difficult. But the weekend I went to Cook Forest with my family I hit the mushroom jackpot. SO MANY MUSHROOMS. I took oodles of pictures *coughoverathousandcough* of mushrooms and their identifying features in hopes of being able to figure out what they were when I got home. Here are some of the ones I was able to identify...
These guys are painted slipperycaps (Suillus spraguei) Aren't they beautiful? The ground was just littered with them.
These are perhaps my favorite from the whole bunch of them both because of their interesting colors and the silly name. These little guys are called chicken lips. (Leotia viscosa)
This is chicken of the woods. (Laetiporus sulphureus) It's an edible mushroom that apparently makes a good substitute for chicken. Apparently it can be prepared in most ways you'd prepare chicken to eat. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for this in the future, I'll love to give it a try. There is a whole bunch more information on it here if you're interested in learning more.
These are earth tongues. They're from the family Geoglossaceae. In order to properly identify the exact species a microscope is needed but knowing that they're earth tongues (and that there is even something called an "earth tongue") is good enough for me.
The top photo is Clavulinopsis fusiformis and the bottom is Clavulinopsis laeticolor. They're distinguishable from each other by the size of the clusters.
This mass of fungus is crown coral. (Artomyces pyxidatus) I saw a lot of these over the weekend and every time I felt the urge to run my fingers over it. It's surprisingly soft. The way it looks kind of reminds me of something you'd clean your shoes on though.
It's hard to identify these without being able to look at them in person right now and to just go off memory and photos but I'm almost certain these are golden waxcaps. (Hygrocybe chlorophana) I do know for sure they are some sort of waxcap though.
This beautiful purple mushroom is the spotted cord. (Cortinarius iodes)
When I spotted this guy near our campfire I actually thought it was the squished remnants of another mushroom. Nope, it's an elfin saddle! (Helvella crispa)
Lastly, this beauty, the green-cracking Russula. (Russula virescens) I've actually spotted these around my parents house and at the park down the street from my house but until this day haven't been able to figure out what they were. Isn't it gorgeous?!
I'm so happy to have been able to identify these ones just based on photos and some quick notes I jotted down in my notebook. But I really do wish I had spent more time trying to identify while near the mushrooms. There were so many I think could have been easily identified had I taken the time. The good thing is mushrooms are ridiculously abundant this time of year so hopefully I'll get another shot to go on a mushroom hunt soon.
*Of course I need to mention the fact that I am not a mycologist. I'm just a mushroom fanatic who scours the internet to learn more. Please do not eat any wild mushrooms unless they have been identified by an expert.