Our first good find was a colony of Clavaria pyxidata, Crown-tipped Coral mushrooms or they could be Ramaria stricta, I just can’t decide. There must have been 30 or more in very large clumps. Roody in Mushrooms of West Virginia writes that they are edible but I’m just not ready to taste these just yet. He claims they taste mild to peppery. I think they are pretty and that’s enough for me.
I was thrilled when Jane pointed out these earth stars. I believe they are Geastrum fimbriatum. The rain has made them glossy looking and they almost sparkle don’t they. I asked Jane to squeeze one so I could get a photo of the spores coming out but I didn’t get the photo and she got a face full of spores. I don’t think she will do that again even if I begged.
We saw many other mushrooms that we didn’t identify before the rain began to really come down and we had to leave.
Then last Friday after work I drove back up to see if I could find more and I was blessed with these two bright orange ones. I believe they are Hygrocybe cuspidate, Candy-apply Waxy Caps. With that red color you would think they were poisonous but they are not.
There were plenty of regular shaped mushrooms all about but I was going for the more exotic looking ones such as this Clavulinopsis aurantio-cinnabarina. That’s a mouth full isn’t it? The common name is Orange Spindle Coral. I found some twice the size of this one but I’m showing you this because I have my hand there for scale. They can get up to 5 inches, but I think I only saw some up to 4 inches. At first it seemed like there was only one but once I started looking I could see them all around.
I walked on up the hill to find the earth stars again but found this box turtle instead. He seems to have all the fall colors of the mushrooms in his face. He doesn’t look too happy but I suspect he has inner peace if not a joyful face.