They pop up mysteriously in the night. Even kilometres apart, tangled underground mycelial threads push up their fruiting bodies at the same moment, surprising us with clumps of scarlet toadstools, rings of honey brown mushrooms, and pliable fingers of fungi poking from the ground. Some are edible but many are not, and some are highly poisonous, like the Fly Amanita above. I was interested to see how many different kinds could be found.
Here are a few that I saw last weekend on the BC Naturalists’ Fall General Meeting walks around Langley:
I consulted Duane Sept’s book, Common Mushrooms of the Northwest. He says that this species group is poisonous and there are several look-alike species.
We also found: Fircone Cap, Strobilurus trullisatus, a small white fungus that grows on Douglas-fir cones, Pacific Yellow Chanterelle, Cantharellus formosus, Pear-shaped Puffball, Lycoperdon pyriforme, Questionable Stropharia, Stropharia ambigua, and various bracket fungi on rotten wood, including Tinder Polypore, Fomes fomentarius, Turkey Tails, Trametes versicolor, and Red-belted Polypore, Fomitopsis pinicola.
An opportunity to learn more about fungi: Sunday October 24 is the Vancouver Mycological Society’s annual Mushroom Show at Vandusen Botanical Gardens.