Mushroom closeup with fan-like gills

Fall Fan Dance (click to enlarge)

Masses of mushrooms of many varieties continue to appear everywhere on our property, as I reported last week.

I’ve found what I think may be a cluster of Chanterelles – though lacking mushroom expertise, I’m not about to taste them. But others around our place seem to have no hesitation in turning the fungal bounty into a feast. Sow bugs are chowing down on the perhaps-Chanterelles, as you can see in the photo above and the one below (click to enlarge these images, and you’ll see the bugs).

Fan-like mushrooms with sow bugs eating them

Fall Dan Dance #2 (click to enlarge)

These are by no means the only fungi serving as meal time treats for the critters around here. Go a bit deeper into our woods, and you’ll find what we call “Mushroom Village”, a cluster that grows at the base of the same moss-covered fir tree each fall (photo below).

We think they might be Honey mushrooms, but we’re not sure. As the season progresses, we enjoy watching the Village swell up, from little button-like ‘shrooms to dinner plate-sized specimens. And as you can see, we’re obviously not the only ones who appreciate this Village: many of its mushrooms have deep excavations, indicating that Banana slugs have been taking regular meals here.

Clump of orange mushrooms with large holes and feathers

Signs of Nocturnal Visitors to “Mushroom Village” (click to enlarge)

I’m not sure what the feathers indicate. Perhaps they’re leftovers from an owl’s midnight meal – in which case, Mushroom Village might not be so lucky for local songbirds. But I guess all the residents – including sow bugs, slugs and even owls – have to make a living somehow.

You’ll find a few more mushroom photos on my Flickr site.

A reminder if you’re on Gabriola Island: My photography show, Reflections on the Coast, continues until Nov. 30 – I hope you’ll get an opportunity to catch it.

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About Laurie MacBride

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

11 responses »

  1. terapnstn says:

    Oh, one more thing – that orange clump of mushrooms isn’t honey mushrooms, either. They are probably a pholiota, though I’m not positive. On your Flickr site, the one you call Mushroom Quartet probably IS honey mushrooms. The fibery ring around the stalk and the slighly furryish dark center of the mushroom are characteristics. They grow on dead wood from an underground mycelium, so if you don’t see them actually on a stump, there are growing from dead roots under the ground. They are delicious, and dry well, too.

  2. terapnstn says:

    Laurie, there is a wonderful pocket guide called All That the Rain Promises by the mushroom guru David Aurora. It is quite easy for a novice to use. Doesn’t have all the mushrooms, of course, but will get you to the easily identified edibles (shaggy manes, chanterelles (once you see real ones they are not difficult to distinguish), morels, etc., as well as any look-a-like poisonous ones. You’ll love identifying them, and there’s nothing better than foraging for your own food!

  3. Stacey says:

    Lovely photos, but none of them are chanterelles.

  4. Phil Lanoue says:

    Excellent photos of these fungi but don’t think I will be eating any of them. :-)

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