Monday, July 9, 2012

Fungi foray

Eventually the rain did stop and the sun came out.  We escaped from the great indoors and went for a walk in the great outdoors.  Here is what we saw.

Yes, it it fungi-time, or more accurately, fungi-fruiting-bodies-time.  Some were familiar and many were not.

A few showed evidence of having been nibbled on by the creatures we call "fancy rats", that is the weird and wonderful small mammals of Southwestern WA.

Everywhere we looked there were more.  I quite enjoy sorting my stinkhorns from my earthstars, or baskets from boletes, but this day I was well out of my depth so just enjoyed looking. 

My favourite one of the day wasn't on the ground but far above our heads.  That Pored Fungi was the size of a large dinner plate and the loveliest creamy yellow.

The greatest excitement of all though was in our own backyard.  I guess you can't expect to dump three truckloads of wood chips on the lawn without getting some serious fungal activity, but every day there seems to be some new thing erupting from the mulch.  Many of the fruiting bodies in our garden also show signs of being eaten which I hope means that our quenda is still in residence, even though I haven't seen it for a while.  I do see its odd little diggings in the soil often though.

Yesterday morning I went out into the backyard to do a spot of digging myself and spotted something repulsively fascinating.  It looked like someone had spent a tough night on the turps, then indulged in a dodgy curry, then left us a present.

This time I did go rushing for my fungi books and to various websites.  What we have is a slime mould.  They aren't actually fungi anymore; they got kicked out of the fungi kingdom!  My description wasn't too far off the mark as there is even a slime mould called a dog vomit slime mould.  Nice.  The wonders of the natural world never cease to amaze and amuse me.

If you enjoy a spot of fungi spotting then I can highly recommend Mandurah's Marlee Reserve.  Or come for a cup of tea at my house.


  1. These are great photos. Inspired by your family's love of/fascination with fungi I took some fungi photos on my trip to Tasmania (and photos of some great hard landscaping with rock slabs on a cape walk for AM). Haven't managed to email them through yet but I did have lots of fun on that particular walk thinking how much M&H and you and Guy would have enjoyed discovering them. Little did I know you have such a great variety over in WA - not what I'd have expected to find over there.

  2. There are loads here and they play an important role in unlocking nutrients from these nutrient-poor soils. There are far more than I expected too. Look forward to seeing the Tasmania pics - and now maybe even some NZ ones.