Nature Walk – Name that Fungus!

| November 29, 2014 | 2 Replies

Nature Walk – Name that Fungus! If you’ve been following “Late Bloomer” the last couple of weeks, you know I have fungi on the brain! (See my article “Fungi for Thanksgiving!”)

I’m drinking mushroom tea, eating mushrooms, I ordered mushroom immune defense supplements, and I even tried to get a grocer at my market to give me a garbage bag of stale portobellos today to throw on my garden.

Nature Walk - Name that Fungi!

Cup of Chaga mushroom tea

I took a nature walk in Northern California yesterday morning to search for mushrooms to photograph. A 200 acre old-growth eucalyptus and redwood forest in the Santa Cruz mountains with three miles of hiking trails is part of Chaminade Resort. 60′ trees provide a thick canopy over the canyon.

Nature walk-Name that fungi!-Trail

Forest trail through eucalyptus and redwoods

You are forewarned about the poison oak alongside the trails, and I’m very allergic, so photographing delicately detailed mushrooms in the dark canyon was quite a challenge. Here are just a few fungi I came across. Please help me identify them!

Nature walk-Name that fungi!- A.

1. Fungi growing from a dead tree trunk

Nature Walk - Name that fungi! - B.

2. Grouping of fungi in brush

Nature Walk-Name that Fungi! - 2b.

2b. Another grouping in brush

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-2c.

2c. Growing from dead wood

The darker the forest, the paler the mushrooms.

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-3.

3. Small, round, pale, spotted fungi

Nature WAlk-Name that fungi!-4.

4. Large, round, flat, jagged edges, brown fungus

Nature Walk - Name that fungi! - 5.

5. Stunning, large, round, pale, with dark nipple center fungus

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-6.

6. Large, round, wavy, dark center, pop-up stem, possibly same as 5.

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-7.

7. Mycelium plainly visible with protruding flat caps on thin stems

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-8.

8. Grouping of toadstool shaped fungi

The trail is accessible to the public, and and a local woman I walked with for a while told me that at one time Tibetan monks walked the trails. The serenity was temporarily broken by this sight.

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-villa

The Villa, defaced with graffiti

The Villa was built in 1914, and at some points in the recent past was visited by vandals. I’ve never understood vandalism. Or littering.

Nature Walk - Name that fungi!-spray cans

Spent spray paint cans used for graffiti littered the side of trail near The Villa

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-propane tank

Propane gas tank with peeling paint and graffiti

I turned the corner and spotted a lone wildflower.

Nature walk-Name that fungi!-lilac flower

Lilac wildflower finds a sliver of sun

My serenity was broken again as a group of noisy hikers came up behind me, and as it appeared that our pace was approximately the same with me stopping to take photos, I turned, let them pass and retraced my steps. I wanted to look for a group of fungi I had photographed with my phone the day before. I found them, but the sun hadn’t.

Nature Walk-Name that Fungi!-9.

9. Spotted, large, shiny fungus

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-9. in sun

9. Same fungus the day before, in sun

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-9b.

9b. Shiny, spotted fungus, top

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-9c.

9b. Same fungus the day before in sun, with banana slug eating gills

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-9c. with bite marks

9b. Same fungus showing where banana slug ate gills the day before

Fungi are so ephemeral. Some of this grouping were starting to turn black and disintegrate the day before, and were blacker and harder to spot the following day.

Nature Walk-Name that fungi!-serentiy

Forest floor with small creek – Picture of serenity

It’s such a blessing to be able to take a walk in nature. Take nothing (but photos) and leave only your footprints. No identification required, or wanted.

Nature walk-Name that fungi!-graffiti tree

Graffiti on moss-covered tree

Nature spontaneously keeps us well.  Do not resist her!  –  Henry David Thoreau

Please leave a comment and help me name that fungus! And if you want to forage for mushrooms, read “Wild mushrooms: What to eat, what to avoid”Mother Nature Network

Thanks for reading! – Kaye



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Category: Fungi, Nature

Comments (2)

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  1. Melinda says:

    Gorgeous! Isn’t nature stunning?! My family never camped but as a girl scout we did and my leader noticed how I loved the details in nature. Same with going to college in San Luis Obispo, the open space attracted me. Now I have a small sanctuary in my backyard. With fungi!

    • That’s wonderful Melinda!! Please post a photo of your fungi on Late Bloomer Show on Facebook! Thanks for reading and commenting! And thanks for your love of observation. It has it’s rewards! – Kaye

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