For those of you who have been to southern Indiana during the Fall, a common destination is Brown County State Park. It is one of the most frequented state parks in the entire country, and is especially popular in the fall once the leaves begin to change. It averages over a million visitors a year. Pretty good for a state park. The area is very hilly, and there are several vista points in the park where you can see for miles across the tops of the trees. Below is a picture of me at one of the vistas earlier in the year. For some reason we didnt happen to get a picture of it today. We didn’t even think about it, as even at this late date, the leaves are still not fully turned for the most part.
The agenda for today was a mushroom walk that was an event on the Nature Center schedule. We limited the walk to one hour, as there was a hawk and owl show that was coming up after the walk. The walk was well attended, for a total count of 43 attendees. 47 people including us and two dogs.
In the future, I may need to do a signup list and limit the walk to 20 or 30 people. The group was kind of large, but most left fulfilled. Especially since they got to find a Hen of the Woods. The one we found was growing under a Black Oak, and this was the second time that I have found one under a Black Oak this year. If you ask most people, they would say to look under White Oak, but also be sure to check out Black Oak as well. About half of the one we found was getting a little old, but it still made for a good presentation.
The Hen of the Woods was the major find, but we were also able to come across alot of puffballs, Turkey Tails, and a nice stump of Mock Oysters – Phyllotopsis nidulans. The overall goal of this walk was to teach newcomers some of the basics to look for when identifying a mushroom – what substrate it grows on, whether it has pores, gills, teeth, etc.
After the Nature Center walk we went out for another hour and a half with some of the regulars who attend other Hoosier Mushroom Society events. Here is our total species list for the day. Not too impressive, but we were able to find a few new things for the people who came out.
Species List – October 22, 2011 – Brown County State Park – Nashville, IN
Ogle Lake -> Nature Preserve
Brought in (Nashville Area)
Around Ogle lake, the beavers have taken over. They have dropped trees all around the lake. Recently, the DNR trapped and executed several of them, but there are still signs of recent beaver activity.
This is one of the few deadly poisonous mushrooms in our area. It is called Galerina marginata. Look for it growing on downed wood. It will usually have rusty colored spores and a ring around the stem.
And I will leave you with a shot of Xylobolus frustulatus. Commonly found on dead wood. Didnt end up taking too many pictures today, as the park was really busy and I had to keep Kais on a leash. Hope to see you at a future event!