Dog Bob Feral Bends Forest Farm Leaf Litter MycoBob

Newts, turtle sex, and a morel-munching salamander

We had a good, drenching rain on Friday night, prompting me and Althea to spend a lot of time in the woods searching for oddities over the next few days. We weren’t disappointed.

Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
Althea tries to figure out what these two Common Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) are up to
A bunch of blonde morels surround our forest altar to Morchella, a tribute to fortunate foraging. I did the same with black morels I found the previous day and found the blondes almost immediately the next morning. Morchella smiles upon such offerings.
Black morels pay tribute to Morchella.
We found this Eastern Red-backed Salamander on a blonde morel (morchella americana) that we foraged over the weekend. We released him back into the wild …
Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne)
Long-spurred Violet (Viola rostrata)
Black-and-gold Flat Millipede (Apheloria virginiensis)


Leaf Litter MycoBob Phenology Journal Uncategorized

The rain delivers on its promises …

One of my favorite mushroom field guides is “All that the Rain Promises and More,” partially because it’s a great resource, even if the focus is on Western fungi, and mostly because the cover photo is awesome.

The rain made a few promises this week, and it delivered today. We had several days of relative warmth and rain, so I had high hopes when I went out to forage this morning. I was rewarded with this beautiful flush of oyster mushrooms on a downed poplar branch in Hermit Hollow.

I took a chance and left these guys, hoping they’ll get a bit larger over the next day or three while avoiding the rapacious white-tail deer who seem to be my main competitor for oysters.

I also came across a flush of what I believe are common bonnets.

On the non-fungi front, I found bones from the white-tail deer that died late last summer. They were covered in leaf litter so I suspect some predator/scavenger dug them up hoping for more than was there.

I also found some native orchids , putty root, hunkered down for the winter.

And finally, it looks as if the woodpeckers have been busy. In all, it was a great walk in the woods. If the deer leave my oysters alone I’ll be feasting on this this weekend.

MycoBob Phenology Journal

Stinking Orange Oyster (Phyllotopsis nidulans)

Stinking Orange Oyster Phyllotopsis nidulans
Stinking Orange Oyster Phyllotopsis nidulans


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, rainy December night complete with thunder, lightning, something scurrying across the cabin’s pine ceiling. Return of the flying squirrels? They were probably grounded by the weather. I was up reading well before dawn, and by 9 Althea and I headed out for a hike. The rain had stopped, and after checking the bird feeders we headed out to the ridge trail, where I immediately spotted a new (to me) mushroom on a jagged maple stump. Hard to miss that orange glow in the drab winter woods, kindling a faint hope that I’d spotted an out-of-season fruiting of chicken of the woods. A closer look quashed that uncharacteristic fit of optimism. This mushroom had gills and looked more like an oyster, but not one I’d yet encountered.  iNaturalist suggested the Stinking Orange Oyster ID, and that’s what I’m going with unless someone there thinks differently. It does look like an oyster, and it does stink. Apparently it’s edible, but who’d want to?

Stinking Orange Oyster Phyllotopsis nidulans

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