Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Strange yellow fungi

Hubby and I were out walking. Right in the middle of being pouty and complaining, I spotted these strange yellow fungi

growing out of the side of a mossy little bluff on the old logging road.


Close-up of the lower one. If it were any larger I think I'd be worried about zombies hatching out and trying to eat my brains.


Close-up of the other one.*


I found another group further down the road. This one's stem was covered in leaves.


I removed them so I could see it in all its, um, glory.

I almost feel the need to say that these photos may not be suitable for young children!

I believe these are either Ravenel's Stalked Puffball (Calostoma ravenelii) or Yellow Stalked Puffball (Calostoma lutescens). I found a couple of keys but neither seems to match exactly.


* Interesting tiny fern (or bryophyte?) on the lower right too. I didn't notice it until I looked at the photos. I couldn't identify it with a quick web search - maybe someone else will know.

19 comments:

pablo said...

What could a wonderful blogger like yourself have to be pouty and complaining about?

Rurality said...

Hubby could write a book on that subject, I'm sure.

This particular time, I was complaining that he'd tricked me into climbing up higher than I wanted to. I have a little fear of heights, but mostly I don't like the trip back - walking down a steep hill. Especially when it's slippery with leaves. Plus I knew the plants I was really searching for were not up that high. But then I found these cool fungi and forgot all about that.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Fantastic fungi find there. What a strange looking thing it is. Nothing like the white dainty puffballs we have up here, especially with that sheath it seems to protrude from, yikes. Are you sure it's not an alien invasion pretending to be fungi?

Randa said...

Fantastically fascinating fungi find. How unique! I've never seen anything like that. Thank you so much for sharing it. (Illicit close-ups and all!)

yllstonewolf said...

oh...my. there is something a bit off-putting about them. though fascinating at the same time.

T. Beth said...

How creepy those curious fungal growths are! I've never seen anything like them before.

Floridacracker said...

Triffids. RUN!

Watermelon Man said...

Holy Cow !! That is truly some wacky um...shi...err..stuff ! You never know what your going to find during a walk in the woods. Great Pics...cool site !!

swamp4me said...

Can't really tell for sure, but your "fern" may be a Selaginella.
Utterly awesome fungi.

Cindy said...

thanks for stopping by today Karen so I could re-discover your wonderful blog (going to put it on my sidebar so I don't loose it again).
fascinating fungi- I thumbed through a few guides by can't come up with anything that matches totally- if I do, I'll give you a holler.
Great photos :)

Ontario Wanderer said...

Neat fungi! I think they may be related to the Geastrum (Earthstar) genus although I can't find any exact matches.

Sabine said...

Again some really beautiful pictures! What camera do you use? I have just got a small digital one and my pictures don't look anything like yours.

I have never seen fungi like this before in Europe. Is it native to North America only?

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody, Yeah, bizzare, huh?

Swamp4me I think you may be right. I need better books. And a microscope!

Sabine it's an older digital camera, a Sony Mavica CD1000. Puny megapixels compared to what's available today. Some day I'll get a better one, but I haven't found one yet that has some of the features I like about this one.

The thing you need to take closeups is a button with a little flower symbol on your camera. (How's that for technical talk?!)

I had never seen these fungi before either. But I had remembered seeing something similar in one of my field guides, so that gave me a starting point. When I was looking for google images I noticed that they have fungi similar to this in New Zealand, which I thought was odd but interesting.

Sabine said...

I found the button with the flower on my camera (page 68 in the manual, I hadn't read that far yet; the camera has way too many features). Look out for great close-ups on my page. :-)

LauraP said...

Very cool, creepy fungi!

swamp4me said...

There is a nice discussion of your puffballs on pages 343 and 344 of Peterson's _A Field Guide to Mushrooms_

Rurality said...

Thanks Swampy, I need to put that book on my wishlist.

OK Sabine I'll be wanting to see some German flowers, fungi, bugs, butterflies, and such now! :)

andy... said...

I'm 95% positive that this is Calostoma lutescens. C. ravenellii doesn't produce a 'collar' like this species. Another way to tell the difference is to look at the spores. This one should be completely round while the other more elliptical. If you ever find it again, can you give me a shout?
awilson@chicagobotanic.org

Rurality said...

Sure thing! I have been meaning to get out and try to find it again. This will give me a good reason.