Mushrooms of Cook Forest - The Dainty Squid

Mushrooms of Cook Forest

Wednesday, 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.
xoxo

*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.

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46 thoughts

  1. Ah I love this post! I have never seen so many mushrooms before...of course I've never looked very closely but, neat! Is there a certain type of landscape that is good for spotting mushrooms? I'm not much of a nature girl, but I love taking pictures on the trails. The purple capped shroom is my fav :)

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    1. I think it's less about landscape and more about perfect weather. A nice day after a big rain is great for mushrooms. Anywhere where it's been moist is perfect.

      Since I was hiking with my 5 nieces and nephew as well as the rest of the family we were staying on the trail. Everything here was found within a few feet of the trail. The key to finding mushrooms is looking closely. You'll be amazed how many you'd normally just glaze over when you start to really look.
      :)

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  2. the earth tongues look like bunny ears :)

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  3. It is amazing the colors and shapes mushrooms can have, so different one from the other, and that pop of yellow! I think my new favorite must be the chicken lips with the green head and yellow body. Very interesting post to learn varieties I did not know that existed, thanks! :)

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    1. Right!? I think that's why I love them so much, they're all so different from one another.

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  4. mushrooms!! how lucky you are! all looks beautiful ..

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  5. There's a photo of me when I was 2 or 3 years old, holding one of those chicken of the woods mushrooms! I wish I could find it and copy it, but it's at my parents' house. Never knew what it was until today :)

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  6. Woah! These are so cool. I've never seen most of these. The earth tongues are awesome! They look like bunny ears!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

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  7. Incredible! I am pretty sure we don't have so many variations of mushrooms in Colorado-the chicken lips are super cool-I have never seen mushrooms that color!

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  8. Elfin saddle, what a cute name

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  9. That's a lot of different mushrooms you have there. I'm surprised I haven't seen as many and I'm in Ontario, so it's not too far! :P

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  10. I love the purple one, its strange seeing something natural, that isnt a flower being that colour!


    chloex
    www.bythelock.com

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  11. I love these I am so jealous of the variety you found! Looks like my daughter might have a lesson about fungi in the not too distant future! I love that homeschooling gives me an excuse to explore the woods!

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  12. I love this - it takes me back! I grew up going camping in Cook Forest and my dad always stayed up there when he was hunting! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Awesome pictures as usual, you should start a new blog, Kaylahs critters and shrooms :-) I want to see you crawl around some tree looking for a critter just like David Attenborough :-D

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  14. I love all their names, especially "elfin saddle", they're all so different and interesting! Do you have "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms"? I think you would like to have it if you don't already. I have the bird and the flower ones and I just adore them!

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    1. I miiight, I'm not 100% sure. I'm not big on identifying mushrooms with books, even though I own a bunch of mushrooms books. I use a combination of the app "Fungi" and the internet. I find it really easy to incorrectly identify with the limited info in field guides.

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  15. Wonderful! I can't wait for mushroom season here. We've had a long and dry summer. Fall is usually when mushrooms can be spotted. We actually don't have many in the spring either. So when fall approaches, I try to get out there to see them when I can!

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  16. This is so cool! I'd love to do something like this!
    The Earth Tongues are my favorite, hah!

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  17. How cool!!! I love the earth tongues, haha! What a cute name for such a cute mushroom! You take really lovely pictures, too! I'm certainly glad you took thousands, if only so we can see a few here!

    Elyse of Cuddly as a Cactus

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  18. that's a lot of mushrooms! funny you should post this today, a little while ago when i was leaving work i saw this one by my car. any suggestions as to what it is?

    http://instagram.com/p/dSrQFjgtqL/#

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  19. So cool!! My dad always used to point out mushrooms to me in the woods behind our house, there are so many! We used to have these HUGE ones that if you broke them all this smoke exploded up into the air.

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    1. Those are spores, not smoke. It's how they reproduce!

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  20. These are incredible! I've never seen so many cool mushrooms in one spot!
    -Naomi
    http://girldust.com

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  21. Lovely photos!!! the purple mushroom is beautiful, you are very lucky girl
    xo

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  22. I love this! I don't think we tend to get so many varieties in one place in England, but maybe I'm just not looking hard enough! I'd love to go on a foraging course to learn more about finding them with an expert, and which ones are edible!

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  23. Love chicken lips haha and earth tongue - awesome names :)

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  24. good lord! this is so freakin cool! i think my fave of the bunch is the spotted cord!


    --Leeds
    at this volume

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  25. I've eaten chicken of the woods before in stir-fry! Very cool to eat things from the forest. The chicken lips are adorable; love the photos!

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  26. Wow!!! This is fantastic! I found a chicken of the woods looking mushroom the other day! But mine was more yellow! Tiny pup was very interested :)

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  27. Wow! I've never seen or heard of any of these mushrooms/toadstools.
    I'm not sure that we have these in the UK, perhaps I'm not looking hard enough!

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  28. Wow! That's really interesting to see.

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  29. I love those chicken lips and russula, I rarely see blueish/green mushrooms in my area.Do you use any field guides? I use these guides: http://terrariumtherapy.com/2013/01/mycology-related-matters-my-resources.html and I also go on MykoWeb, but it's a little challenging when you're going by features because you literally have to click through every image to see if that's the mushroom you saw.

    Do you have any recommendations for other mycology books/field guides? I'm always looking for new guides and books!

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    1. I'm a big fan of the app "Fungi", I can almost always identify from that. I also like it because it's super continent.

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  30. I love your mushroom posts--so beautiful!

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  31. Wonderful post! The photos are beautiful. I love photographing fungi around where live but I've never tried to identify them. It's definitely the right time of year to look for them though so I'll give it a go this year.

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  32. Interesting article. Its really amazing. You've got great idea and creativity before coming up with this. thanks for sharing.

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  33. i love this - the picture is good .. keep it up !!

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  34. Amazing! Your article is full of really useful information. thanks for this wonderful article ..

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  35. Wow! ive never seen these kind of mushrooms. Great article by the way! Diesel Performance Powerstroke

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  36. Wonderful information about the mushrooms. This is the first time i have seen them. Great article. Thanks a lot for sharing! Diesel Performance Powerstroke

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  37. Wow I never knew that mushrooms had those nice yellow and red colors. Its like candies... This is very informative!

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