Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gooey Orange Dough

I bet few if any organisms that so many people know so little about elicit more oohs and aahs then fungi. Many species are dazzling eye-grabbers and nearly anyone who notices the especially showy fungi will take a moment for a closer view.

I do.

And did the other day, when an especially striking clump of orangish mushrooms begged for a look.

Golden Pholiota, Pholiota limonella. This is one of the wood decomposers, and an especially striking species. Fungi are rich and varied; some estimates put the worldwide species total at over one million. Of course, no one really knows, and if you want to enter a field that is ripe for new discoveries, become a mycologist (fungi scientist, or perhaps, a "fun guy").

Golden Pholiotas feel funny. Touch one, and the sensation is just like sticking your finger into wet spongy bread dough. Kind of makes you recoil. And unlike good bread, you wouldn't want to eat it. This species wouldn't kill you, but according to firsthand accounts you would probably become unpleasantly ill.

In fact, it is wise to avoid eating ANY mushrooms unless you really, truly know your stuff. Some, like a number of the Amanitas, can kill you right smack dead.

It's been a decent fall for spectacular mushrooming in some areas, and I look forward to photographing some more. Maybe I will this weekend, with my new cool camera. It just arrived today, and all goes well with this new setup, perhaps we can look forward to better and improved photos on this blog!


KatDoc said...

"There are old mushroom hunters
And bold mushroom hunters,
But there are no old, bold mushroom hunters!"

Nice pics, Jim.


Anonymous said...

Inquiring minds want to know: What kind of camera did you get?

Jim McCormac said...

The new camera is an upgrade of the old: a Panasonic FZ-50. It isn't radically different than the FZ-30 but has more oomph in the form of additional megapixels, as well as some other techno-goodies.

More importantly, at least for macro purposes, I bit the bullet and got their Fl-360 flash tower, which clips on to the camer's hotshoe. This thing is really cool, and I can't wait to get out and experiment! The quality of flash makes light years of difference in how macro shots come out, and this unit is way beyond what the camera's built-in flash can do.


Pam Barber said...

I just wanted to thank you for the great time I had on my first birdwatching experience with you. You're so incredibly smart about so many things(even though you warned me that you may just be making it all up!! Ha! Ha!)and yet you are so down to earth and fun to be around. Thanks again for a great day!
Your friend in nature,
Pam Barber