Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Few Fungi Finds



There hasn’t been a lot of activity here of late. I’ve been occupied somewhat over here with tree stuff.

Today I finally got around to editing and identifying, (hopefully), some of my recent fungi finds. It is always a delight to discover some of these beautiful, strange and important organisms.

In no particular order …

I was lucky to see this Cordyceps robertsii in some bush in Bunyip State Park. Like other Cordyceps, this fungus grows from a caterpillar in the soil. Here’s a link to the remarkable story of ‘vegetable caterpillars’.


The Crown-tipped Coral Fungus grows on dead wood in wet forest and I saw this on the Lawson Falls Track in Bunyip State Park. I think its proper identification is Artomyces colensoi. Apparently this species has a peppery taste – I didn’t have an assistant with me at the time to confirm this!


The Sweetwater Nature Conservation Reserve was the locality for this Flame Fungus, Clavaria miniata. It is a pretty common species and although tiny, the brilliant red colour tends to catch the eye. I was a bit intrigued with the darker tip to this one – probably just decay setting in?


A family of Golden Scruffies, or Cyptotrama asprata (possibly), was another good find on the Lawson Falls Track. As this image shows, the young mushroom loses the tufts or fibrils as it ages.


 Mt Worth State park was where I ticked this Slender Club, Macrotyphula juncea. It likes to grow on leaf litter and small twigs, sometimes in a large group or colony.

A strange and fascinating world.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Nangara Yesterday, 19th June 2016



It was great to get back up into Nangara yesterday, it’s been awhile.

It was very quiet on the avian front with just the usual suspects flitting through occasionally – Eastern Yellow Robins, Brown Thornbills, etc, and the loud mimicry of Lyrebirds in 2 or 3 localities. One individual had a repertoire of seven different species of birds at least – Kookaburra, Raven, Bowerbird, Crimson Rosella, Pied and Grey Currawongs, Lewin’s Honeyeater and several others I didn’t quite pick at the moment.

The water ferns, Fishbone, (Blechnum nudum) - I think - in particular were appreciating the now wet conditions along the creek banks.
 
Healthy, erect, no brown fronds, etc.
Underside of a fertile frond
 Most specimens had very healthy looking fertile fronds.

Fungi too seemed to be appreciating the season.
 
Scotsman's Beard on a log
Scleroderma cepa I think, on the forest floor
There were several of these hard skinned puffballs
Scarlet Bracket - common on dead wood
The stunning underside fertile pored surface


A favourite bit of bush on the doorstep.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pilotbird



A recent day spent with the Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists on a ‘fungi foray’ in the Mt Tassie area proved very rewarding.

As usual, I could barely keep up with the knowledge that spills from these people as they identify and discuss various plants, fungi, invertebrates etc. Not wanting to be a nuisance, I stopped asking how to spell botanical names, which family, why is that different from, etc, very early in the walk. I quickly scribbled down my interpretation of what was said and hit the field guides that night. Perhaps I absorbed 10-20% of the information and here’s some of it … (click on images for a larger version).
 
Hericium coralloides

Pleurotus sp

Chlorociboria aeruginascens

Coprinellus disseminatus
The lunchtime highlight was a visit by a Crimson Rosella and a Pilotbird. The crim very readily chewed on a leftover apple core while allowing the photographers to take their pictures on macro settings.

We were about to leave and Ken interrupted our goodbyes with, “There’s a Pilot Bird under the picnic table”. Lo and behold, the bird strutted into our midst and proceeded to pick at the crumbs at our feet. We were amazed and delighted to see such a rarely sighted species so close up.
Pilotbird, yey!
The bird allowed us to get plenty of photos and despite continual flashes from the cameras, it remained preoccupied with its food gathering task for some 5 minutes or more. We were in a popular picnic ground and car park, testament to the way some individual birds will readily become accustomed to and even benefit from human presence.