We had a really great time hitting the woods with our Lafayette mushroom friends, as well as meeting some new people from that area. We have been trying to move events for The Hoosier Mushroom Society around the state a bit more, and this was our third event away from the Bloomington/Brown County area. The others were at Indiana Dunes and Salamonie Reservoir.
We met at Tippecanoe Battlefield in Battleground, Indiana for the foray. We picked a great location, because right where everyone gathered to meet, there was one of the largest White Oaks I have ever seen with several Hen of the Woods around it in the landscaping. Made for a great picture.
Heading over to the nearest picnic table to talk for a few minutes before we got started, we noticed a mushroom growing off the side of a picnic table. This is not very common with treated wood.
There were also a couple of Agaricus nearby. When these mushrooms are young, the gills are bright pink. By the time we found these, the the gill color had changed to become the actual color of the spores.Probably Agaricus campestris – The Field Mushroom.
Before we headed out, Ben (a local Lafayette mushroom hunter) showed us several of his collections that he had saved, including a jar full of morel mushrooms. It served to get us itching for spring already. He also had some Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, and Honey Mushrooms.
So once we got out onto the foray, we came across several interesting mushrooms. The first interesting thing was a nice stash of Chicken of the Woods growing in the interior of a hollowed out Ash tree. I had not seen these growing nearly enclosed in a tree before, but it was pretty cool.
Continuing on,we found an Entoloma growing in the woods. I usually call this Entoloma strictius. It has a stem that is twisted…like someone gave it an Indian burn. Look for that, pink gills, and growing on the ground.
A quick story…later in the foray, someone held up a mushroom and a couple of us agreed that it looked like Pluteus cervinus – The Deer Mushroom. We were planning to go to the Purdue Herbarium later in the day, so we saved it to look at its unique microscopic characters. More on that later…
Some of the most common decomposers you will find are of the Genus Gymnopus. They are “Collyboid” mushrooms that have a smooth cartilaginous stem. With these, the stem is much darker than the cap, and they grow in clusters. So I am calling it Gymnopus acervatus.
Coming up next we found a few mycena. This genus has small white-spored mushrooms that grow from wood.
And another small mushroom that I have been finding all over the place early in the fall. It is a Lepiota – White spores, terrestrial, and a ring around the stem. This one is Lepiota cristata. I made a page for it on hoosiermushrooms.org, so be sure to check it out. I will update it with the may different growth forms eventually. One interesting thing about this mushroom is that it has spores shaped like bullets.
Maggie had her glasses stored in that hole in her jeans, rubbed up against a Pokeberry plant, and somehow managed to get some of the berries into her jeans. The stain came out tho.
Finally we ended our mushroom day with a trip over to the herbarium at the Purdue University Campus. I didnt bring in my camera, so all I got was this cellphone shot. If someone has a picture of the collection storage room, please send it to me and I will update the post. Hope you enjoy!