One of the first mushrooms of the autumn I enjoy spotting is the colorful Dyer's Polypore. Rick and I found two growing along our seasonal creek. The one on the left is growing in a small huckleberry bush.
These are inedible mushrooms. Their job in nature is to help decompose dead wood. That said, we found it growing on the roots of a big, healthy Douglas Fir. Perhaps there is a dead root they are working on.
Dyer's of yarn prize these mushrooms as they impart a yellow color when young, like these. As the mushrooms age, they give a deep brown color.
We did find some Oyster Mushrooms on a downed Tan-Oak. Oysters, edible mushrooms, grow on dead hardwoods.
We will be looking for the first Boletus edulis to arrive. Soon, me thinks!
Oyster mushrooms have bloomed on a downed Tan Oak in our forest. This tree came down last year and we left it in place in the hopes that we'd get these mushrooms - they grow on dead hardwood. Our hopes were rewarded!
And a Dyer's Polypore has bloomed too - not an edible, but beautiful to see and watch evolve.
The new polypore is the light-colored one. The dark brown polypore was last year's bloom. It's unusual for the old one to still be entact. These mushrooms are used by dyers of wool. When young they dye wool yellow or orange. When older, the dye wool brown. Their role in Nature it to decompose dead wood.
I have a photo of the first Boletus edulis, a choice edible. Four were found at The Sea Ranch a few days ago. But I am sharing it first with the Independent Coast Observer with my Sightings column. It will be out on Thursday!
Sometimes it seems like they pop up full grown overnight, and other times you can see them evolve over a period of several weeks; Dyer's Polypores are here. Their scientific name is Phaeolus schweinitzii. Several just made an appearance on our land this week, yet one fruited several months ago in our forest. Craig Tooley was there to photograph it. It has a rather unusual top to it.
Below is one Rick and I just noticed yesterday afternoon. It's quite beautiful, don't you think?
And here is one that is just emerging. It will be fun to watch it as the days go by.
This fungus has its role to play in nature as it helps to decompose dead wood. Dyers of yarn prize this fungus for the pigment it holds. Depending on the age of the fungus, they can dye yarn yellow, orange or brown.
Thanks to Craig for allowing me to share his photo, the first one here, with you. To see much more of Craig's photography, here is his website: ruffimage.com
You'd expect to find Prince mushrooms on the Mendonoma Coast in summer. And, in fact, they are fruiting. But with the unusual heavy rain we received the end of June, we've have autumn mushrooms fruiting now - King Boletes, Chanterelles, a lone Sweettooth Hedgehog and several Cocorras. Now a Dyer's Polypore has fruited, at least a month earlier than normal. Is this the new normal? Time will tell. Nan Brichetto photographed this beauty Saturday in our forest in Anchor Bay.
This fungus helps the forest by decomposing dead wood. It is prized by dyers of yarn. When young, like this specimen, it dyes yarn yellow or orange. As the polypore ages it will dye yarn a warm brown.
Thanks to Nan for allowing me to share her photo with you here. I will enjoy watching this mushroom evolve and plan on sharing photos for you to see in the weeks to come.
Dyer's Polypore, Phaeolus schweinitzii, a fungus that helps decompose wood, has emerged in the same place we spotted it last year. This year it fruited a month later than in 2011.
It's only two inches across now but it will grow in the days to come. Here's a link to how it looked last year after it grew for several weeks: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2011/08/26/dyers-polypore-a-wild-mushroom-continues-to-evolve-continues-to-fascinate/ This fascinating mushroom can be used to dye fabric. Depending on the age of the mushroom, the color will be orange, yellow, golden or brown.
It is a harbinger of autumn, just a little late this year!