Well, we’ve had a pretty good example of a drought year here in Lake of Bays and Algonquin Highlands.  The rain, when we’ve had it, has not been well-timed for the berry crops, but the mushrooms have been having a great time!

Our Shiitakes had an amazing run this fall, as did many other Fun Guys.  The ‘Shrooming since the beginning of September has been fantastic!!

Note the buff caps, white speckled edges, and the clean, dry, fuzzy, straight stems of the Shiitake.  The caps maintain a nice curl under right up to the days of desiccation.  Shiitakes don’t look slimy.  They remain monochromatic throughout the organism.

I had a client send a set of mushroom pix to me through email this Thanksgiving weekend, wanting an ID from me, almost convinced that they were Shiitakes.

The mushrooms were growing from what seemed to be a Sugar maple stump that had been cut three inches above grade several years earlier.  The mushrooms were twisted, and grooved with smooth, shiny, yellow caps, almost like Slippery Jacks, they could’ve been Honey mushrooms, but were past their prime if they were…

I didn’t have time to ID the subject specimen with any certainty as to whether or not it was edible AT ALL, not to mention that I was out the door to the funeral for the father of a dear friend (link below), but I knew how to answer the question right away.

I hastily wrote out key ID:

Note the shiny, ‘wet’ caps and the contrast between the caps and the dark, twisty, grooved stem.  

Shiitakes are buff, dry, solid, monochromatic through cap to stem, dry, and clean. 

Cheers to a great Thanksgiving and DON’T eat the mushrooms!

I don’t like to I.D. mushrooms during my edibles workshops as edible, it has been a general rule of thumb for me.  I thought that writing about them, and forcing myself to identify some of my hundreds of mushroom photos, may expand my horizons.

Let’s run through a quick course of fall mushroom photo ID from Botanigal’s Fall Travels… These images were taken in Algonquin Highlands, Lake of Bays, and Ottawa, as noted in the captions.  You will notice that they are slowly being identified over time…

Earth Tongue type.  Lake of Bays.
R.K. Earth Tongue SLAR 2015 IMG_1430.jpg
Golden Clustered Clubs.  Algonquin Highlands
These look a lot like Shiitakes, but they are not on wood and have a stem ring.        Lake of Bays
Parasol type with a sock.  Lake of Bays
This is difficult to I.D. due to the lack of an under-view, very much like polished marble.   Lake of Bays
Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric.  Lake of Bays
Orange Milk Mushroom.  Lake of Bays
These are fun!  Lake of Bays


R.K. Fungi 3 BHLR 2015 IMG_1857.jpg
I ran into a bear who was doing the same thing as I – totally focusing on the mushrooms!!  Long-rooted Agaric (Xerula furfuracea) stems may be as long beneath the ground as you see above grade!
R.K. Laquered Polypore emerging 1 2016 Limberlost 174.jpg
Lacquered polypore.  Limberlost Nature Reserve
Stinkhorn.  Lake of Bays.
R.K. Mystery mushroom 1.jpg
Flowerpot Parasol (Leucocoprinus birnbaumii) likes houseplants
Green-headed jellybabies.  Algonquin Highlands

R.K. Slime mould SLAR 2015 IMG_1422.jpg


Tremella mesenterica.  Lake of Bays
Pilobolus kleinii type.   Lake of Bays
Puffball found by my pal Gillian on her way to the ‘Lil’ Girls Room’.  Mud Lake, Ottawa.

Please read the Ottawa Citizen’s obituary for artist and naturalist John Crosby, dear father to my best friends, and a key role-model to my LOB-Ottawa pals, along with my fellow naturalists and birders.

John regularly haunted Mud Lake as long as he was able.

He was an amazing Canadian artist.

May the forest be with you Joe.

R.K. Earth Tongue SLAR 2015 IMG_1430.jpg
Can you find all of the other fungi in this photo?

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