Thursday, August 06, 2009

A great year for fungi

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.

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

Apparently about 170 kinds have been catalogued on the island.

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

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

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

Quite quickly, they seem to rot into the forest carpet.

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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