Thursday, August 06, 2009

A great year for fungi

1massed-toadstools.jpg
It's been a terrible year here on Martha's Vineyard for tourism (what with the recession) and even for beach sunning (what with the endless rain.) But it has been a great year for mushrooms.

2red!.jpg
Since so much of what I do here is tromp around on trails, I'm having a marvelous time noting the considerable variety.

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Apparently about 170 kinds have been catalogued on the island.

4tall-umbrella.jpg
I wouldn't consider eating any of them -- too ignorant for that. But this one strikes me as ominous.

5feathery-purple.jpg
Something else has been eating this one. Probably an insect. Current climatic conditions are also healthy for many biting bugs.

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These look a little like something I might see in a store, but I doubt it.

7hi-contrast-white!.jpg
Quite quickly, they seem to rot into the forest carpet.

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This looks like a fungus, but it is not, exactly. It's a Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, or Corpse Plant, a parasite on fungi. It doesn't live on chlorophyll and usually grows in dense forests. I saw this specimen on a roadside. It's been a heck of a wet summer.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

I just sauteed some mushrooms before they became too old to use. Now I don't think I want to eat them, even though I know they are safe. The idea of poison mushrooms is stuck in my brain. :-) (Just kidding)

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