WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

Blog Home - For more Wildflower, Perennial, Mushroom and Looney Tunes images visit my web site - Wiseacre Gardens
Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 16th, 2012

Pigskin Puffball

Aug 16

Scleroderma citrinum

This is a false puffball. The leathery skin is one clue. The black flesh on the inside is another.

mature pigskin puffball – Scleroderma citrinum
pigskin puffball

Poking a pigskin puffball is dangerous. The spores can bring tears to your eyes, make your nose run, cause post nasal drip and give you pink eye. They are poisonous and anyone eating one is likely to experience a good bout of gastrointestinal distress.

Do NOT do this at home
pigskin puffball spore cloud

When you do foolish things be prepared to deal with unexpected consequences. I felt compelled to point out the identity of this mushroom after learning its true nature.

this is what happens when you poke a pigskin puffball

Actually I just needed a break. I’m selecting and organizing 5 years worth of photos in preparation of updating the northern NY wildflower section of my web site. I’m still working on ’08 pics and probably have another 7,000 photos to go before I catch up to the present time. One nice thing is I’m now able to identify many of the mushrooms that once mystified me. The pigskin puffball is one of them.

These photos have all been previously posted.
puffball spore cloud
that’s strange

The joke was lost to all but my most dedicated followers. In other words, no one got it.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 16th, 2012

March 2012 – Moss Madness

Mar 16

I’m back. For me, March brings madness. Not basketball, mind you, it’s more the Mad Hatter type. It’s been a long (but unusually warm) winter and I’m a bit late starting my treatment. Nothing like fresh air, some moss and discovering a couple of other oddities while wandering about to make me feel better.

March Moss

A moss covered rock doing a hillside imitation. I should bring it home. It’s big enough to make a very nice miniature moss garden yet not so large I couldn’t budge it.

Moss covered rock

Shrink enough to step into the photo and enter an alien world.

moss and lichen covered rock

Water droplets cling to what looks like the heads and necks of some strange bird.

immature spore pods of an unidentified moss
Water droplets on moss spore pods

Fire moss spore pods on another rock.

developing fire moss spore pods

Leafy lichen looks like lettuce. Not really, alliteration got a hold on me. This lichen looks more like some kind of terrestrial seaweed. Is it a landscape or salad?

moss and lichen covered rock

Like most Klingon delicacies this one is best eaten alive.

moss and lichen covered rock

It’s not really odd but finding growing mushrooms during March isn’t an everyday experience in the north country. Normal day temps should be in the 30s with nights going into the teens. But even in February, Velvet Foot Mushrooms will grow if there’s a brief warm spell.

Velvet foot mushroom

Velvet foot mushrooms are often found on dead Elm trees when the bark begins to separate from the wood. Those that grow in the crevice are tiny while those that break free can grow much lager. I’ve found them nearly 3 inches across. Those in the photo are about a half inch across. It is hard to make out but they are growing in a notch started and abandoned by a woodpecker.

If you want a photo that makes it clear that a woodpecker was at work, this one should do. The hole is about 2 feet long.

woodpecker carving

When finished I hope it looks like this.

Let the bold text trick you into thinking literally.

Cat chainsaw carving

Now see the reality.

cat chainsaw carving

Of all the chainsaw carvings I’ve ever seen, this one is my favorite. Lucky me, it’s just down the road and I get to see it often as I drive by.

Posted by WiseAcre on Sep 26th, 2011

Green Stain Fungus

Sep 26

Every reference says green. I say blue. Who are you going to believe?
Them, me or your lying eyes.

Green Stain Fungus – Chlorociboria aeruginascens

This is a tiny stalked mushroom that stains the wood it’s growing in. Field guides state it prefers Oak but I’ve seen it on just about every type of tree (dead and rotting) around here except Cedar and Pine. I’ve been trying for over a year to get a photo of one in profile. Getting a focused photo of the stem always seemed beyond me until the other day. I got lucky and got two.

Chlorociboria aeruginascens

I wanted the stem shots to help confirm the identity. There are other very close species and this one is supposed to have an off set stem. These look like abstract sculptures to me. I don’t know what might have craved/chewed the holes in them but whatever it was it had to be very small.

green stain mushroom

I didn’t need any luck finding any of these cup mushrooms, they were all over the place. The rotting logs they were growing on had soaked up plenty of the recent rains giving them the moisture needed to develop the fruiting bodies. Slime molds, particularly yellow fuzz cone slime are out in force too. To get a perspective of the blue stain’s size – the orange balls are about the size of a pin head.

yellow fuzz cone slime - green stain fungus

…and now for something not completely different

A Bolete of some sort that’s being eaten. Not all Boletes are edible and I doubt any slug feast is going to make me believe this one is.

unknown bolete being eaten by a slug

A closer look shows just how yummy the whole thing is. It also shows the pore surface and the tubes behind them in the slug eaten hole. (upper left)

slug eating a mushroom

Jeeze the last half of this post turned out pretty slimy.

« Prev - Next »