I’ve never seen the mushrooms achieve the size they have this summer. This looked like someone tossed in a big old bath sponge.







cap to show the size of these clumps




coexisting nicely





An archipelago of coral fungus







Finger Lakes, FLX, food, hiking, Ithaca, NY, Uncategorized, Upstate New York

Walks Around The Finger Lakes. September. An archipelago of coral fungus


26 thoughts on “Walks Around The Finger Lakes. September. An archipelago of coral fungus

  1. This archipelago of coral fungi reminds me of when my kids bus their own plates back to the kitchen sink……the aftermath, that is.

    A fascinating find, here. I’ve been carrying a field guide with me on trips into the woods lately and find myself more often heeding respect to these little blobs. At least so the next time I come across one I can put a name to a face.

    • Yes, due to my inability to carry things, my kitchen has probably developed some lethal growths under the cupboards, but I’ve decided rather than take up bleach and a hygienic lifestyle, I’m just smearing everything with yogurt and cultivating a new ecosystem.
      I got a book, and it’s been very tempting to harvest some of this, I know the NW has been dry, while we’re seeing more mushrooms than anybody remembers. I guess I’ll take samples and try them on a bench in front of the local ER, just in case

  2. I was nervous about you trying those, but then I found this article that made it seem a little less like suicide by fungi. Not only that, it has some good tips about harvesting and storing them. The only variety I’ve ever gathered are morels — and there’s nothing better, dredged in flour, salt, and pepper, and sautéed in butter.

    They do look like corals, or sponges. I’ve never seen anything like them, and they’re rather attractive.

    Your comment about cultivating a new ecosystem made me laugh, and remember a grade school science project that involved jello, fingerprints, dark closets, and fuzzy blue-green mold. Some memories never fade.

    • Thank you, Linda, that’s an excellent article. I’ve been wishing I knew someone to confirm the identities but haven’t found anyone yet around here. Yes, when they’re fresh they’re kind of attractive and exotic-looking. I’ve seen morels in stores, but it’s funny, among all these fungi this summer, I don’t think I’ve seen any morels in the woods around here.

  3. Mmm, they do look like sponges. And I’m glad you put your hat there as I would never have guessed the size of them otherwise. The lower ones – are they related to honey fungus?

    • I look them up in my book, but I’ve been very hesitant to I.D. them, because what if someone ate something toxic based on my post!! Never really took a huge interest in them before this summer, when they started popping up all over the place.
      I wanted to mention, for some reason I have to keep clicking the “follow” button for your posts, it doesn’t seem to stick.

      • I’m hopeless at I.D.ing funghi… so I don’t even try, now. Honey fungus, though, is a fungus that grows on tree trunks and ends up killing the tree-host (and then spreads to other trees) and I can just about recognise it now.
        Oh WordPress is a pain, this happens frequently, don’t worry about it. Which ‘Follow’ button are you using? Is it the one at the bottom of the home page, or in the footer or the one on my ‘Follow’ page? Because I have a feeling that they behave differently.

      • Absolutely. The weather patterns here are to have very dry summers, then wet the rest of the year, so like in lots of other locations, the best foraging is in the fall, I think. I think western Oregon and N California are huge mushrooming places, too.
        Like Peter says below, it’s been extremely dry, but the rains have started.

  4. My wife and I live in BC, thus also in the Pacific Northwest. It has been the driest and hottest summer on record. There no mushrooms anywhere. The forest floor is still bone-dry. All the more impressive to view your giant fungus!!!

    • It was a dry, hot summer here last year — in some spots, last year’s dead leaves are still blowing around, as if they’d just come down. Maybe an extra accumulation of humus and our rainy summer explains the larger growths this year (?)

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