Showing posts with label Mushrooms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mushrooms. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2015

Golden Fungi

Not being a connoisseur of mushrooms and rarely cooking with anything more elaborate than the grocery store white buttons, I had no idea what had sprouted in my yard. I was taking the garbage to the street when they caught my eye, almost golden in the late afternoon sun. I grabbed my camera to photograph yet another fungal find. To identify them, I searched on gold mushrooms on logs. As best as I could determine from the pictures and descriptions, my golden fungi were oyster mushrooms.

Most mushrooms seem to have a short life and are withered and gone within a few days or a week.
January 20, 2015
These, although past their prime, are still hanging on nearly a month later.
February 17, 2015

Having survived through a vicious winter cold spell with snow, ice and single-digit temperatures, this is what is left nearly two months after I first spotted them.
March 11, 2015
These mushrooms, being edible goodies, bring people out in the Fall to forage for them. While they can be found at any time, they are most prevalent in the Fall, growing on dead hardwood trees or logs in temperate areas all around the world, with the exception of the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. 

The Oyster Mushroom is often used in Asian cooking, and sometimes made into a sauce similar to oyster sauce. They have a soft, chewy texture with somewhat of a seafood taste, making them perfect for seafood dishes and stock. They are best harvested when young because as they age they become tough and unpleasant tasting.  

Oyster mushroom trivia:
  • Now cultivated around the world, they were first cultivated in Germany during WWI as subsistence food.
  • They are one of the few carnivorous mushrooms; they actually devour the nematodes residing on the host log. They hit them with a toxin then suck out their juices.  
  • Oyster refers to the shape of the cap which is similar to that of an oyster shell.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Fungi

A while back, I told hubby that I was doing another post on the interesting fungi I found in the back yard, and he said "Oh really, is that a bunch of fun guys having a party?"

So without further ado, here are the 'fun guys' I found hanging around my back yard.

I scanned hundreds of photos in an attempt to ID these fungal visitors.  Alas, I was unable to determine what they are.   So who's having a party in your yard this Fall?

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Fungus Among Us

This was such a bright splash of color among the green and brown of it's surroundings. It almost looks like a tomato on a stem.  After a lot of Googling and comparing pictures, I determined that this is likely an Amanita Jacksonii.

This beautiful mushroom is found in North America from Quebec to Mexico, and resembles the Amanita Caesarea, which is found mainly in Southern Europe and North Africa.

It is said to be edible, but it is not recommended because other members of this family are poisonous.  Here it is shown in it's just-emerged, immature stage.

Here is a pretty white, cone-shaped mushroom that sprang up on an old stump.  As you can see he has a unidentified friend nearby.  Until I started searching for what these might be, I never realized how many fantastic fungi there are in every shape and color imaginable.

I saw this one a few days later on another stump, and at that time it looked similar to the one above.  The picture below was taken today and you can see how it has changed.  As it matured, it opened up, flattened out some and developed brown spots.  These may both be Parasol mushrooms.  True Parasol mushrooms are said to have exceptional flavor, but again, not something you want to eat unless you really know what you're doing since they can be confused with toxic varieties.  

What is sprouting up in your area?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Freaky Fungi

I found these interesting looking critters under the dogwood tree this morning.  They are called Mutinus Elegans, more commonly known as Elegant Stinkhorn, and while they are found up and down the East Coast, I've never seen one before.  However, with the aid of Google I was able to identify these unusual fungi.

They are reported to have a foul odor but considering how close I got to take the pictures, I didn't smell anything.  The brown coloring is actually a slime which flies and other insects feed on which disperses the spores.  Yuck!  Because of their odor, they are not considered edible for humans.

Interestingly, in a study of a variety of mushrooms, the stinkhorn showed antibiotic activity against all six of the human bacteria tested including E.coli and Salmonella.

Has anyone else seen these or have them in your yard?