Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fungi of the West Coast Trail

A month ago, I joined some friends to embark on the ultimate weight loss trip combined with an episode of Survivor.  We did the West Coast Trail.  I took hundreds of photos, and thankfully for you, I will not show them all.  Not all at once, anyways.  So hereby, I present part one of the series, a trip into death and decay, and the life that flourishes as a result. 

Possibly Laetiporus sulphureus
I've never had the patience for fungi identification, but the more interesting forms seemed to deserve a photo, and this one was unique enough that browsing a few hundred photos on Google images turned up this name, so that's the name I'll stick with.

A type of bolete?  Unfortunately, I didn't think of getting a photo of the underside

Gnome Plant
All the photos that I've been able to find of Indian Pipe show its flowers dropping down, and never in full bloom, so I am somewhat doubtful of the ID, though I have found nothing else remotely similar in appearance.  I found these inside a shallow hole of a long-rotten log.  Indian Pipe is actually a plant, and a parasitic one at that, but it's non-photosyntheticness puts it in this category.  **update** Thanks Hugh, this does indeed appear to be a gnome plant.  It's biology seems to be quite related to Indian Pipe, and even rarer.

Bleeding tooth mushroom (foreground)
The spores of the bleeding tooth mushroom settle on rotting carcasses, and continue to extract blood from them long after the rest of the forest has mossed over the body and bones.  At least that's what they want you to think.  In reality, the syrupy red liquid oozes out of the mushroom's pores.  It is not poisonous.  But you're not a vampire, so don't bother.

1 comment:

Hugh said...

Nice pictures, especially the bleeding one! I think the saprophyte could be gnome plant Hemitomes congestum. I'm looking forward to the rest.