Found More Fungi Than We Expected To, 11-19-21

I got up around 6:30 again this morning and got myself ready to go out to the American River Bend Park for a walk with my friend Roxanne. I was hoping to see some fungi and some slime molds. We got the fungi but no slime molds.

It was drizzly and overcast, but the rain was nice to us. It rained a lot as we stopped for coffee and headed in toward the park, but once we got moving along the trails, it stopped. I’d brought an umbrella with me, but didn’t really need it.

When we got to the gates of the park, there was cadre of male Wild Turkeys walking by, blocking the road. This time of year, the males travel in bachelor groups and vie with one another for supremacy over roosting spots in the winter.

Besides the turkeys, we didn’t really see a lot of birds. I could hear Northern Flickers, California Quail, and Oak Titmice, but I couldn’t see them to get a photo. I did get a photo of a Spotted Towhee early in our walk, and a couple of a Lark Sparrow we saw on our way out of the park. We’d stopped to get photos of some Telegraphweed plants and were surprised when the sparrows showed up. We hardly ever get to see Lark Sparrows (which I think is the prettiest of the sparrows in California) so we’re always excited when we get the chance to see one.

We went into the first turn-out, near the manicured lawn and picnic tables, and looked through some of the rougher areas around the lawn for fungi.  We found some nice specimens of  Honey Fungus, Yellow Fieldcaps, Scaly Rustgill mushrooms and Dryad’s Saddle polypores among others.

On the lawn we found some Death Caps, which are sort of in the same family of deadly mushrooms as the Destroying Angels. Unlike the angels, which are pure white all over, the Death Caps have a yellow cap. I don’t think I’d ever seen them in that lawn before, so that was a nice find.

When photographing some lichen, Rox found a nice crop of the reddish-orange “moles” of the Orange Hobnail Canker, a plant pathogen that was discovered in 1916 by Stephen Bruner. We also found Green Shield lichen, Shrubby Sunburst, and  Hoary Rosette Lichen. We weren’t really focused on lichen on this trip, so I’m sure there were a lot more that I missed recording.

One of the trees we found clumps of sandy “mud” on the side of a tree, and then red woody sawdust on another tree… I think it might have been termite signs, but I’m not sure.

Mustard Yellow Polypore, Fuscoporia gilva, a type of bracket fungus

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

We then went over to equestrian area to see if we could find any jelly fungi, but there weren’t any out yet. As we drove out of there, we saw some “melted” inkcap mushrooms in one of the fields, and stopped to get pictures of those. The inkcaps have a high water content so as they age, their gills liquify and leave a black inky sluice on your skin.

Then we drove toward the camping area (and restrooms) and looked around the fields there. On the way we came across a Columbian Black-Tailed doe and her two fawns. Sooooo beautiful. 

In the fields I was looking for some earthstars but didn’t see any.  We DID find some False Turkey-Tail fungus, puffballs, and horsehair fungus, and Roxanne found a lovely specimen of Oak Mazegill.

We walked for almost 3½ hours which I thought was pretty good for me considering my “depleted” state, especially with all of the bending over and climbing over fallen logs that we had to do. It was exhausting but fun.

We then went over to Brookfield’s Restaurant in Rancho Cordova for lunch. Rox had a Rueben sandwich and sweet potato fries and I had a French dip and regular fries. I also had coffee and a mimosa. So yummy! Thank you, Roxanne.

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Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Brown Jelly Fungus, Leafy Brain, Phaeotremella foliacea
  3. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  4. California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
  5. California Quail, Callipepla californica
  6. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  7. Cavalier Mushroom, Melanoleuca sp.
  8. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  9. Common Ink Cap, Coprinopsis atramentaria [large]
  10. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  11. Dark-Winged Fungus Gnat, Bradysia sp. [larvae]
  12. Deathcap Mushroom, Amanita phalloides [yellow cap, everything else is white]
  13. Dryad’s Saddle, Hawk’s Wing, Polyporus squamosus
  14. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  15. False Turkey-Tail, Stereum hirsutum [thin, flattish, brown underside]
  16. Foothill Shoulderband Snail, Helminthoglypta cypreophila
  17. Fragrant Funnel Mushroom, Clitocybe fragrans
  18. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  19. Goldenhaired Inkcap Mushroom, Parasola auricoma [like parasol mushrooms but with a goldish button in the middle of the cap]
  20. Green Trichoderma Mold, Trichoderma viride
  21. Harvestmen,  Order: Opiliones [tiny clear “spider” on the gills of a mushroom]
  22. Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia [hoary, brown apothecia]
  23. Honey Fungus, Honey Mushroom, Armillaria mellea
  24. Horsehair Fungus, Gymnopus androsaceus [thin black stipe]
  25. Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus
  26. Meadow Puffball, Lycoperdon pratense [pure white, smooth surface]
  27. Mock Strawberry, Potentilla indica
  28. Mustard Yellow Polypore, Fuscoporia gilva [bracket type fungus]
  29. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  30. Oak Mazegill, Daedalea quercina
  31. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  32. Oak-loving Gymnopus, Gymnopus dryophilus [tan-orange with pale gills; cap can be flat or curved up as it ages]
  33. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri [like strap but with soredia]
  34. Ocre Spreading Tooth Fungus, Steccherinum ochraceum
  35. Orange Hobnail Canker, Endothia gyrosa [hard reddish-orange pimples on trees]
  36. Peeling Oysterling Mushroom, Crepidotus mollis [small oyster mushroom on sticks/bark]
  37. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  38. Scaly Rustgill Mushroom, Gymnopilus sapineus [rusty red top, yellowish gills that turn rusty with age]
  39. Scaly Shield Mushroom, Pluteus petasatus
  40. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  41. Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
  42. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  43. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  44. Tall Psathyrella Mushroom, Psathyrella longipes [tan cap that often splits, dark tan gills]
  45. Telegraphweed, Heterotheca grandiflora [soft felted leaves, yellow flowers]
  46. Toothed Crust Fungus, Antrodia sp.
  47. Western Deer Mushroom, Pluteus exilis [heavy, dark cap and white stipe and gills]
  48. White Clover, Trifolium repens
  49. Yellow Fieldcap Mushroom, Bolbitius titubans
  50. ?? mold on deer scat
  51. ?? Sandy mud on the bark of a tree