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Old Aug 12, 2012, 7:57 PM   #1
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Default Fungus Weather

For most species of fungi, most of the organism is hidden - in the soil, inside the rotting log, etc. When conditions are right, the hidden part (the mycelium) produces the "fruit" - the mushroom or mushroom-like structure, which produces the spores, "seeds" for the next generation.

Unlike much of the US, we in East Tennessee enjoyed record rainfall this July. A hot, dry June followed by a hot, very wet July was perfect for all the "fungus among-us" to "bloom" into LOTS of very diverse mushrooms and such.

I am still working to learn all the many species, so can't ID most of these. But thought you might enjoy seeing some images. There are many varieties of gilled mushrooms - those that have thin radiating lines of spore-producing surface under the mushroom cap. Here are some views of one of the common Amanitas...
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 7:58 PM   #2
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And another (species unknown to me) gilled mushroom with greenish caps!!
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 7:59 PM   #3
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These tiny white gilled mushrooms were all over the trunk of a dead Oak at Laurel Run Park.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:03 PM   #4
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And here are three more gilled mushrooms. First two different very bright ones that sprouted at the edge of a nearby golf course. Then one with an appropriate name - it's called "Old Man of the Woods," because it's rather grey and shaggy (maybe a relative of mine??)
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:05 PM   #5
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Another group of mushrooms have pores instead of gills for spore production. Here is one that seems to grow best on dead and dying Oak roots called Chanterelle.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:07 PM   #6
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And here's a pore mushroom, a bolete often called Squirrel Bread. Yes, squirrels do eat a variety of mushrooms, and this is one of their favorites.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:08 PM   #7
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A few more bolete-type mushrooms - again, not sure of the species, but a good example of the variations (and a good view of the pores on some).
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:11 PM   #8
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Then there are some "fungus fruits" that don't fit into either of those categories. You might be familiar with puffballs - round fungi that puff out clouds of spores when they are ripe (and when you poke them!). Well, here are two other puffball-type fungi. First is called Earthstar - a puffball with a "star-collar." The collar protects the fungus while it is ripening.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:13 PM   #9
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And here's a tiny puffball-type fungus called Bird's Nest Fungus. The "eggs" in each "nest" are each a tiny puffball...
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 8:16 PM   #10
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The entire outer surface of the aptly-named Coral Fungus produces spores. These have been especially common in the older forests this year. (We even saw some pink ones at Unaka Mountain recently).
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