Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fanciful Fungi #5: More Fungi than you can poke a stick at!

Old burnt logs have more life then you would think. A June walk to the top of Camelback in Tidbinbilla Park let us capture some of the most beautiful fungi attacking dead, burnt wood seasoned from the January 2003 fires. The damaged and rotting timber is the perfect home for detritus loving fungi! So much rotting food :D

Oh! Basidiomycota, how I love you so. You can be found in hard ground, or hanging out of logs <3 These fungi were only about 30-40mm wide and hanging on the end of this burnt stick in a wet valley at the base of the walk. They are likely to be Woody Pore-Fungi or Leathery Shelf-Fungi. I didn't want to disturb them too much, so didn't have a look underneath to see if they had pores. This would have helped in the identification. However, my book was unable to help me for such small sized wood-fungi.

This fungi was found just across from the one above! It may even be on the same burnt tree.  It is a Basidiomycota, and most likely as species of Stereum. Their Curved shapes, with defining rainbow colours of chocolate, caramel and cream are often found on dead wood.

Jelly fungi have to be my favourite. These guys were only as big as your pinky-finger nail! They were everywhere on the walk, attacking all types of dead timber. Heterotextus peziziformis is their rad name. They are almost translucent, and I wish they were larger so I could try looking through them at other objects.

Clumping mushrooms in the scar of a burnt tree, surrounded by some sort of white leathery shelf-fungi. I was unable to identify the white colony fungi, but I believe the mushrooms are Collybia eucalyptorum. They have cream-colour gills and reddish brown stems, and like to hang our on mature eucalypts in moist forests.

Tiny tiny tiny fungi! Again, another type of shelf-fungi or woody pore fungi which my book was unable to help me identify. They were a 85% cocoa chocolate brown colour, and clumped up to form tiny colonies.  Another unidentified species that likes rotting wood as a home.

Looking for some new fungi friends? Have a look at this log. The last 4-fungi were all found on the same log. In fact, they weren't the only fungi on the log. I had to stop photographing as I counted the number of species. There were about 20-30 species on one log alone! Plenty of new friends if you are a fungus. The top-left photo are of more Collybia eucalyptorum. C. eucalyptorum like hanging with feathery-grey toadstools (top-right), some puff-ball fungi barely 10mm in size (bottom left) and woody pore fungi probably related to Australohydnum dregeanum (bottom right).

These rotting-timber lovers are only some of the fungi found in the moist forests @ Tidbinbilla. I found many more species in rotting mulch and litter from trees. Some species were even growing out from road-pavement and holding onto dear life on the batters at the edge of the road. However, charred decomposing wood is definitely the place to be if you are a fungi!

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