Fungi and Mushrooms .. Our Quest Begins - Eva Varga

March 29, 20133

My daughter has a fascination with fungi. Surprisingly, though, she doesn’t like to eat mushrooms. Each time she discovers a mushroom, fungi, or conch in the wild, she’ll giggle as she reminds us of her culinary tastes. When she does, it always reminds me of our holiday in Kauai in 2006 when she found a stuffed octopus at a gift shop and fell in love.  She named him Foamie and as we walked to the counter to purchase it, she was hugging him and said, “I like octopusses.  Octopusses are nice. But I not like to EAT octopusses.”  I’m not certain if she was speaking to Foamie or to me, but it was the cutest thing I think I’ve ever heard her say. 

Over the past few weeks, while spending time outdoors, we have been purposely looking for fungi more so than usual, knowing that it is the focus of the Outdoor Hour Challenges this month at Handbook of Nature Study.  We have found many examples on our recent walks and look forward to pursuing this course of study more fully in the weeks to come.  Sweetie, in fact, has asked that I order a slime mold kit from Carolina Biological for a science experiment she has in mind.  We are still researching and learning to identify our discoveries, but I wanted to share them with you now.  Perhaps you can help us identify a few?

Our favorite discovery is pictured in the top middle, Orange Jelly (Dacrymyces palmatus), which we discovered on a decaying Douglas Fir branch.  The only other one we have been able to identify thus far, and this is a guess, is the one pictured in the bottom right, Pin Mold (Rhizopus oryzae). 

This post is linked to the Outdoor Hour Blog Challenge hosted by Barb at Handbook of Nature StudyWe always have a wonderful time following her suggestions for studying nature.  


  • Barb McCoy

    March 31, 2013 at 3:51 am

    My kids call me the “Fungus Lady” since I too am fascinated by all kinds, shapes, and sizes. 🙂

    It is such an interesting area of study with so much to learn…and it *is* hard to identify.

    Thanks for contributing your entry to the OHC Carnival.

  • Alexandra DK

    March 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Great study! The orange jelly is so neat looking, I’ve never seen anything like it.

  • Heidi

    April 2, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Oh my, thank you for the Orange Jelly identification! We took pictures on a hike last fall that I think are the same item, but I never did get around to looking it up. The variety certainly is amazing. We’re so new to studying moss, lichen and mushrooms that I’m afraid I can’t help with any other identifications for you.

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