Nature Notes

July 15, 2017

Dead Man’s Fingers

Filed under: Fungi,Ontario — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Dead Man's Fingers, Xylaria polymorpha

Dead Man’s Fingers, Xylaria polymorpha

I was having a wander through a local woods when I noticed this very odd looking fungi nestled in a dark corner. It is known as Dead Man’s Fingers, Xylaria polymorpha. It grows near the base of a dead stump on the wood just beneath the ground. I suppose with a little imagination, it might resemble the fingers of a dead man, but I tend to think it looks more like something a cat might leave behind.


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October 8, 2011

Inky Cap Mushroom, Coprinopsis atramentaria

Filed under: Fungi — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am


Inky Cap Mushroom, Coprinopsis atramentaria

Inky Cap Mushroom, Coprinopsis atramentaria

The Inky Cap Mushroom, Coprinopsis atramentaria, has some unusual properties. As it matures, it turns black and liquefies. It is an edible mushroom, very mild tasting. However it must be cooked quickly after picking because it takes little time to deliquesce.

Care must be taken that alcohol is not consumed within a few days of eating these mushrooms because they cause an unpleasant reaction. This has resulted in it being given the common names, Tippler’s Bane.

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November 8, 2008

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

Filed under: Algonquin — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, is the typical colorful toadstool seen in children’s books. It has some interesting chemical properties as it is both a poison and a hallucinogen. The latter properties were said to give it religious significance to the Koryaks people of eastern Siberia. It should be emphasized that the North American variety doesn’t have the hallucinogen properties but certainly has the poisonous ones. Leave it alone.

This image was taken in Algonquin N.P., a great place to find interesting fungus.

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

 


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