Sunday, September 24, 2017

Urban mushroom diary - summer 2017 - 4

About this series:

On the 17th of July (2017) a huge group of mushrooms sprang up under the poplars, in the same place where I found the Leccinum duriusculum. These ones looked inedible at first sight, tough, leathery and without an attractive smell.
But they looked very mysterious after the rain, when their caps collected little pools of water.
 This mushroom has beautiful gills with cream colored spores. Most likely it's the Lactarius controversus. Wikipedia says:
This mushroom is considered inedible in western Europe due to its very acrid taste, but is eaten, and even commercially collected, in south-eastern European countries such as Serbia and Turkey.
I could try to taste a little piece next time. It's puzzling that I could see no milk sap when I scratched the mushroom. So maybe not a Lactarius (= milk mushroom)?
 Then, on 20th of July (2017) I went for a walk in the city park to look for mushrooms.
This very common mushroom is surprisingly difficult to determine. I still hesitate between Ganoderma Applanatum or Phellinus Igniarius or Fomes Fomentarius. The first one seems most likely.

The frustrating difficulty to determine a mushroom species is not limited to amateurs like me. It is shared by professionals. This is frustration on a more competent, professional level. It is the difficulty to determine Russula species:
... you'd better be able to navigate fine distinctions between "mild," "slightly acrid," "moderately acrid," "very acrid," and so on, since these distinctions may define your species. 
... dark grayish red to grayish reddish brown centrally and strong to moderate reddish brown marginally, or strong yellow to light yellow overall, or moderate orange yellow to strong yellowish brown ...  
... spines can be shaped however they want to be shaped and usually measure about 1 µ long, though they are occasionally twice that size; the connecting lines between the spines are usually present and scattered, but may be rare or, on the other hand extreme, frequent.
I never thought I would see these in the wild. Xylaria Longipes, it's not dead man's fingers but it is a close relative. It looks very uncanny, a truly alien lifeform.
It is a strangely non-decomposable mushroom, because now, in late autumn the club-shapes are still there. Other mushrooms are gone in a week.
Something microscopic on an old tree trunk. These were gone in a few days. Could be something like Mycena. I should have looked at night because some species are luminescent.
Probably a slime mold. Impossible to determine without a microscope. It could be Enteridium lycoperdon, but it does not fit the picture very well.
This looks very much like Marasmius oreades, but the spores should be white, not dark. But I can find no alternative. Psathyrella candolleana looks too regular.
The impossibility of naming a specific mushroom has a nice irony. It's a fact that this specific mushroom must have some specific name. A rigid designator. Why then, is it so difficult to find that name?
A rigid designator designates the same object in all possible worlds in which that object exists and never designates anything else.
... a term is said to be a rigid designator when it designates (picks out, denotes, refers to) the same thing in all possible worlds in which that thing exists and does not designate anything else in those possible worlds in which that thing does not exist.
This should be some Agaricus but I can not find it. It does not look like Agaricus bitorquis, though that would fit the urban location and the summer season. It looks more like Agaricus sylvaticus, but those seem to grow in pine forests.
Finally some Marasmius. No idea which one. Mysterious and evasive creatures, those mushrooms.

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