Lobster 2017

Lob2Just a short blurb to let my friends – you – know we found 8 lobsters while hiking Big Ridge yesterday. Adam found them while I stopped to rest (getting old) about where Big Valley and Ghost House trails split. I checked out Mega Patch (look in August archives) on the way home, but didn’t see any sign. Aug 15 is fast approaching. Had two inches of rain, more or less, last week and it got cool.

You know, change in moisture and temperature is good for Lob1sexual reproduction – of mushrooms! Start checking your patches. One year, bumper crops of Lobsters occurred here (Tenn), NC and north Georgia within two days of each other.

On the down side, it looks like chanterelle season is over in the Great Valley. I’ll start checking higher elevations though, because the is always Hope, Patience and Humility to keep us going.

Asheville Mushroom Club foray tomorrow.

 

Alert! Chanterelles and Trumpets in May

chantMayThat’s right. With all the recent rain, I went out early this morning to just look around. I thought I would wander through a place that has both trumpets and golden chanterelles. Lo and behold I found these and left small chanterelles to grow. There were only a few in a couple of places and just the 2 black trumpets, BUT it’s noteworthy because it’s so early. I’ve never found either in May before today, albeit it’s May 30th.

Yesterday, Charlie and I hiked a trail and had a great time seeing beautiful Amanitas (DO NOT CONSUME; pictures below) and other fresh mushrooms. Today it was exciting to find the chanterelles. I have to be patient though and not trample the areas before the critters are all up.

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There are plenty of mushrooms in the woods of various species, so if you’ve been waiting to go on a guided foray with me, make contact.

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Cordyceps and other oddities

Yesterday (May 13) I went up to Lone Mountain State Forest in Morgan County with David and his Dad, (Michael). The predicted rain let off and it turned out to be a nice day. I thought a few pictures could illustrate the diversity of the woods as well as some things you don’t see every day.

cordycepsFirst off is the Cordyceps we found. In this case, the parasitic fungus seems to be on a large white grub that tried to pupate. I was able to see the mandibles and legs of the grub. I sent the picture to Mike Hopping and he suggested checking out Ophiocordyceps melolonthae for the fungus. The beetles in the genus Melolontha are large grubs so maybe that’s it. I am a Cordyceps dilettante, so anyone who has other ideas on a clear I.D., send it to me.

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Next up is Xylocoremium flabelliforme. I rarely see this little anamorph of Xylaria (as I understand it), and it has always been sporulating at the time. This was a chance to catch it early and Mike got an excellent macro shot of it.

 

IMG_1119IMG_0037I love slime molds, and Tubifera ferruginosa, is one of the prettiest in its plasmodial stage.. However, I have never seen it like this – working hard at covering all the small bracket fungi (I failed to ID them because I got too excited about the “raspberry mold” already dwelling on the fallen limb). Oh well, you tell me.  :-)

Sweeet KnotFour days ago,on Monday, Derek and I turned up a “Sweet Knot” , Globifomes graveolens, near to where I parked today so I thought I might see it; however, we missed it. Probably because we got to admiring the white, chalky residue of a humongous Chicken of the Woods on the other side of the road. Anyway, it was my first sweet knot ever so here it is. It’s an older specimen, so it’s black rather than brownish or sienna. Apparently, old timers used to split them and use them as deodorizers in their outhouses. Legend or fact? Let me know,

IMG_0033I’m also interested in insect galls,but I had never seen/noticed,/been aware of the aphid gall on witch hazel shrubs. This particular individual was covered in them.

 

 

 

IMG_0035IMG_1281Some sweet shrub and Indian cucumber blooms topped off the day. Of course, we found a number of other cool mushrooms along the way.