Note: This is part two of the story of a recent visit to Ashuelot Park in Keene, New Hampshire.
Regular readers of this blog are probably starting to wonder if I haven’t got some kind of a strange fungi fetish, but it isn’t as if I go looking for them. We just seem to like the same places and when I visit an area there they are, waiting to have their picture taken. Ashuelot Park, which follows the Ashuelot River, was no exception; fungi were everywhere.
These might be one of the most common sights in the winter woods, but the colors and shapes are very pleasing, in my opinion. If I had to guess, I’d say they were turkey tails (Trametes versicolor.) If I had taken the time to look for pores along their undersides I would have known for sure. If they have pores that are easily seen without magnification then they are most likely turkey tails, or at least in the Trametes family. It’s surprising that these still look so good after going through so much cold, wet winter weather.
I would have thought that cold winter weather would leave most fungi looking like these dried up specimens. They looked as if they were made of paper and would blow away at any minute, but they felt quite leathery and were still firmly attached to the tree. Their undersides were very white and clean.
These were quite high up on this tree and I couldn’t see their tops, so I’m not sure what they were. Whatever they were, they looked very fresh. Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) maybe? Laetiporus sulphureus, a yellow-orangey shelf or bracket fungus, typically grows quite high up on hardwood trees and is a parasite that causes heart rot. Others in the Laetiporus family grow on other parts of the tree such as roots or cut, butt ends. Some only grow on conifers.
The color of this one resembles witch’s butter but I think it’s actually a slime mold going through its jelly phase. It could also be Dacrymyces stillatus, or common jelly spot. Whatever it was the sun shining on it made it seem to be glowing, almost as if it were fluorescent.
Thanks for visiting. Part three of this trek through Ashuelot Park will be posted soon.