Mid-winter fungi surprise

A most unusual cap, or pileus. The flat disc at the cap's apex is most unusual.

The rimmed, flat disc on the cap of this fungus is unusual.

Mid-July might not seem like the best time to see fungi, you’d think. But what a surprise we had when we went back to the same spot that we visited in early June . Certainly, fungi weren’t as obvious this time, but once we started looking carefully, the flood-gates opened.

This time there appeared to be more fungi on dead wood and bark, than during the last visit, though it’s just a feeling. These images are of fungi found fruiting on wood. Click to view the slide show.

The day was chilly, but the sunshine and vibrant colours kept our hearts warm. Here we are preparing for the search amid fallen giants, shadows and lush moss beds. We found a diverse collection of fungi to display on the specimen table. Click to view the slide show.

The next set of images are of fungi that appeared to be growing predominantly in soil. Click to view the slide show.

2 responses to “Mid-winter fungi surprise

  1. Dear people of Strathbogie Forest Fungi Group.

    I do understand a myriad of people would ask but I really do need to know, why is pulling fungi out of the ground imperative?? I love your pictures but am shattered when I see them killed I truly am! I spent all available time this Winter looking and photographing fungi I dearly love it all from huge to micro. Can you please oh please tell me why as I really am very disturbed.

    Thank you kindly,

    Leshya Perkins.

    leshya@westnet.com.au

    • Hi Leshya,
      Yes, it’s an issue we discuss and some participants do struggle with the collecting. In the end we chose to collect for a couple of reasons:
      1. We only collect a small sample of each different type of fungus and the area surveyed was less than 1 ha in size. There are literally thousands of fruiting bodies in the area we surveyed.
      2. The material being collected is the fruiting body of the fungus which will soon rot or be eaten anyway. The ‘body’ of the fungus, the mycelium which produces the mushroom, is below ground and is not disturbed in any way by removing the fruiting body. The fruiting bodies we collected were left on-site and many will still release their spores, even after they’ve been picked.
      3. These activities are educational as well as documentary. Being able to see the diversity of form and function of the fungi, not to mention their intricate beauty, is a valuable experience for all participants.

      Thanks for your concern and it’s a good reminder that we should tread lightly in these forests.
      Bert

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