Imagine wild mushrooms with your scrambled eggs

Mushroom puffball 4-7

Much to my surprise I found my first fresh puffball of 2017 on 4/7.  They are called puffballs because their dust-like spores create a brown cloud when the mature mushroom bursts. That makes it fun to kick them. The biggest puffballs contain 7 trillion spores! Unlike other mushrooms, the spores are produced internally. The mushrooms are delicious before the spores form. When people collect puffballs, they cut them in half to check the interior. If the flesh is all white and free of spores, it can be eaten raw or sliced and cooked in butter.

In Tibet puffballs were traditionally used to make ink by burning them, adding water and glue to the ash and then pressing out the excess water.

Mushrooms! Someday I hope to identify them…But they’re amazing to look at!

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Continuing with photos from my 1/1/17 walk in Chapman Forest in Charles County, MD, here is some sort of shelf mushroom growing on a waterlogged tree trunk on tidal river’s shore. Smaller mushrooms are growing from it like petals!

More of same.

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This was growing on same log. People who knew about mushrooms said it is not a younger version of the red ones.

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These tiny ones were also on same log…

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Another log along the river bank had a puffball! We tapped it and a cloud of brown spores filled the air! Here’s what Wikipedia says about puffballs:

“The distinguishing feature of all puffballs is that they do not have an open cap with spore-bearing gills. Instead, spores are produced internally, in a spheroidal fruitbody called a gasterothecium (gasteroid (‘stomach-like’) basidiocarp). As the spores mature, they form a mass called a gleba in the centre of the fruitbody that is often of a distinctive color and texture. The basidiocarp remains closed until after the spores have been released from the basidia. Eventually, it develops an aperture, or dries, becomes brittle, and splits, and the spores escape. The spores of puffballs are statismospores rather than ballistospores, meaning they are not actively shot off the basidium. The fungi are called puffballs because clouds of brown dust-like spores are emitted when the mature fruitbody bursts, or in response to impacts such as those of falling raindrops.”

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Another ‘puffy’ mushroom was growing from the bottom of the same log.

These mushrooms are also growing from dead logs. The gray ‘oyster’? mushroom is on a fallen log. The yellowish mushrooms and the white ones are growing from dead trees that haven’t fallen yet.

Last fall I started watching mushrooms more carefully. It will be hard for me to keep up with my 1/1/17 mushroom count! Please let me know what you find and share my blog with friends!