Bizarre Growths in the Woods

Earl here,

One thing I took for granted growing up in Toledo, Ohio was Acorn Trees. Well, I went searching for some yesterday in our neck of the woods… and didn’t find any. That being said, what Muelsa did show me was Morgan Hill State Forest. It felt really great walking around in there, it is always refreshing and grounding when you realize just how wonderful home is.

This evening I took myself out in search of an oak, I mean acorn, grove. This time, I found the acorn trees. It is a beautiful old growth forest with oaks over 250 years old. The pleasure was all mine, walking within the grove.

I was in search mushrooms… and mushrooms I did find.

 

The Findings

 

I went out looking for Chicken of the Woods, and Hen of the Woods… and I must point out that those are different than our hens in our woods. I digress.

Now, I will first off admit that this is the first time that I have ever hunted for mushrooms… so if I don’t post for a while, you can feel free to worry.

As Leroy know, I pride myself in being a self described Theoretical Biologist (and let me stress “self described”). So, here is my theory:

First off, I found the first small bright orange specimen with a yellow porous underside growing on a downed oak tree. It seems to me that Laetiporus sulphureus fits the bill.

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The next find was the white hairy ball, about shoulder height off of the ground growing on a stick. It seemed to me that Hericium americanum was the likely culprit… but it looks like I am not the only one confused about the name! It looked a bit like Hericium erinaceus, but I believe it is just because the specimen I found was young, so the branches were not able to be seen until I performed surgery on said specimen.

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The next lucky mushroom was the ol’ Hen… Grifola frondosa. There were other hens out there, but this was the only one that seemed to be of the proper maturity.

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After finding these lovely ladies, I happened to walk around a tree which had an impressive burl near the root system. I was inspecting the burl quite closely when I discovered a geo-cache. The last person to write in the geo-cache was in 2013, so I did my duty and wrote a bit in it, and tucked it back in it’s home.

Just when I was on my way out I found a very large (The largest one shown in the first photo) specimen growing in the roots of an oak tree. It is for this reason that I believe it was Laetiporus cincinnatus, which is (apparently) commonly confused with the “real” chicken of the woods, Laetiporus sulphureus, which grows on logs as opposed to roots!

Wow. So, I learned quite a bit today… and at this point I am not sure whether my head hurts from eating those mushrooms or from learning too much.

 

In any event, one of OUR Hen’s of the Acres laid an unusually large egg, which just so happened to be a double yoker!

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Peace

 

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