Sunday, August 28, 2011

After Irene

Pisolithus tinctorius
Hurricane Irene has just passed through Rockville last night  and, despite the fuzz, without much destruction. To compensate for the hurricane, the weather today was just amazing. In the afternoon, when the temperatures were getting warmer and the cool breeze was still blowing, I decided to go for my usual walk around the block with my wife and daughter to see if we could spend a little bit of my daughter's endless energy and to see which mushrooms I could find. Not surprisingly, after a week of hot weather, a good amount of rain and lots of humidity, mushrooms were growing everywhere (every few steps I had to stop to look at something interesting).

Hours of entertainment
Some of the mushrooms I could easily identify were the long and slim Xerula megalospora, various Boletes (in various stages of development), a couple Tylopilus plumbeoviolaceous (described in a previous post), some very large Agaricus campestris (there were so many this year that, if people didn't spray so much herbicide around here, one could eat A. campestris for weeks in a row), the interesting puffball Pisolithus tinctorius (which I usually find around my block in the late summer), the very common lawn mushroom Panaeolus foenicecii, some red Russulas sp. (other Russulas as well), a good number of yellow mushrooms that to me looked like Amanitas (perhaps A. flavoconia), some clusters of brown mushrooms that I think were some type of Gymnopus and a couple others which I could not identify easily.

Perhaps Gymnopus sp.
All in all, I easily counted more than 15 species (except for the brown "Gymnopus", all growing on grass under oak or pine tree). This is a good evidence of how rich the urban fungal biodiversity around the DC area is. Indeed, most of the mushrooms I show on this blog are collected in an area of approximately 6 blocks around where I live, in a very urbanized area (mostly lawns and sidewalks). Later this week I am going to post detailed descriptions and discussions about some of the mushrooms I found today (I already spent enough time in front of the computer for one day). For now I am only going to share some photos.

Perhaps Amanita flavoconia
By the way, I usually post most of my mushroom photos on www.mushroomobserver.org (MO). This is a great place to practice  identification skills, help other people, and to get educated opinions on mushrooms one is trying to identify. Some top amateur (and professional) mycologists around the country post frequently on the MO website. A couple of times I got great information about Amanitas from Rodham Tuloss (one of the top authorities on Amanitas).  If for nothing else, MO is a great place to browse beautiful photos from mushrooms around the globe and to get an idea of what is growing around the region where you live.


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