Thursday, January 21, 2010
A decaying log hosting a lot of fungi
The mushrooms to the right of the Hericium abietis are Mycena haematopus, identifiable by a stalk that "bleeds" red juice when cut or pinched.
Finally, the black lumps behind the Hericium abietis are called Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum with a common name of cramp balls, presumably after someone tried to eat them? They're very common and persist even in dry weather so are especially easy to find.
The reason all of these fungi are on this log is because they're all wood-rotters, the under appreciated composters of our forests. It's interesting to watch a log as it decomposes because different fungi appear at different stages of decomposition.