Santa Cruz: Mushroom Paradise

I went out to Santa Cruz for the very rare North American Mycological Society’s foray (the last one in California was 20 years ago) back in December after the torrential rains. Needless to say, the fungi were fruiting everywhere. This first installment is the walk I took at the retreat center grounds. Enjoy!

Right in the driveway

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Orange Peels? no, Orange Peel Fungus

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What’s this popping out? I have no idea, because I left it alone

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Slimy

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So pretty

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A bolete, these mushrooms have different types of structures than gills to release spores.

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They use tubes, a spongy type stuff where the spores fall out from instead of gills

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And the required banana slug

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They must do a summer camp, because this little ‘town’ was at the top of the ridge

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There was a goat

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This is one of my favorite fungi in the world; it is a slime mold that is living off those wood chips. Looks like a sunset, no?

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You can see the entire life-cycle here, the youngest is to the left

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These are the older ones, they are sacs full of spores, which turn black in another day or two

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And these closer ones are young sacs still developing spores

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And this is the leading edge (they travel over time), you can see the tissue-like veins that develop the sacs

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And underneath it all are actual veins, in time-lapse, you can see them pulse and grow

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A beautiful little brownish mushroom

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What’s poking through?

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A russula type mushroom (not edible)

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This looks like the same type as the button ones in the store, but older

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Oyster mushrooms, edible and delish, but these are old

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This was a freshie

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More to come…

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