The rain continues on and off. Lismorons (and I mean that in an affectionate way) are a bit over it, but ducks, frogs and fungi are loving it.
There’s a newish walking/cycling/jogging/dog- and/or child-walking path through the heath on the coast at Sharpes Beach. As well as a good spot for surf-watching (always a relaxing activity), at present it has lots of fungi.
The yellow and red species below are stinkhorns, Phallus multicolor and P. rubicunda. The brown slime is stinky and attracts flies, which gobble up the spores and distribute them around the place. Both these species are very common. It’s best to wait for a couple of days after rain to allow time for the fruiting bodies (the main body of the fungus – the mycelium – is underground and what we think of as fungi are actually the fruiting bodies) to appear. The mycelia are saprophytic, meaning they break down organic matter, thereby distributing nutrients into the soil. These phalluses were in mulch.
Here are some others from the same path. The first two are agarics, Schizophyllum commune. They start off pinky, then bleach to white with age.
Next is (probably) Pycnoporus coccineus (the scarlet bracket). The underside shows pores rather than gills (making it a polypore).
Another polypore …
When you take photos of the fruiting bodies, ideally you take a shot of the underside as well as the top (to see whether it has gills or pores), and the stem (to see whether it has an annulus or not), and include a 5c piece for scale. Undersides can be seen via a small mirror. If you ask for IDs on a Facebook group like SEQ Fungi, you’ll be in their good books if your photo has all that. Location is vital, too.
After handling fungi, it’s best to wash hands as you do not want to be carrying around more spores than you need to.
IDs are from:
- “A Guide to Common Fungi of Coastal New South Wales” (Dept of Primary Industries, 2016). This is available as a free download on the last page of http://hunter.lls.nsw.gov.au/resource-hub/publications. The download is called “A Guide to the Common Fungi of the Hunter-Central Rivers Region”, but covers many of our fungi in the Nortern Rivers. I think the 2016 book might be an update.
- “Australian Subtropical Fungi” (McMullan-Fisher, Leonard and Guard, 2014)
- Australian Fungi blog.
Any ID mistakes are my own.
Here is a free poster to download for identifying stinkhorns (don’t worry, it’s not scratch and sniff).
If you are on Facebook, there’s a transcript of a good talk on fungi edibility.
And here’s a cute rewriting of Dorothy McKellar’s poem “My Country”: “My Fungi“.