Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What's growing in the rain?

Fungi.. taking their break from drought to propagate in the moisture. I spotted multiple inkcap mushrooms (parasola plicatilis) in the grass and took them for granted. It was only when I read up on them that I learned that they are short-lived grassland fungi that appear overnight following rain; the fruitbodies develop, expand, shed their spores and decay within 24 hours and by the next morning there is usually no evidence of them ever having existed. So.. no pictures until maybe tomorrow. Or the next rain :)

But I have many other mushrooms pooping up to say hello. It's fun to learn about them since they seldom get such moist weather.

My agave is hosting a collection of Leucoprinus birnbaumii (aka Yellow flowerpot parasol mushrooms). They are not edible, but are widely distributed and must have hitched a ride on some potting soil..

My tree stumps may be hosting a variety of Pycnopuros mushrooms (along with some lichen!). They are apparently used in industry as a source of powerful lignolytic enzymes that degrade paper and plastics. I think they remind me of coral...  

These guys may be Gymnopilus.. or not. One type is called Laughing gym (and may contain a neurotoxin). The chickens have left all of the mushrooms alone happily.

Hope everyone is enjoying the rain!