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Photographer:
Paul Sherman

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Many plants and animals appearing here are also available (usually downscaled versions) at my wpclipart site, where I release them into the Public Domain.

Mushrooms

Although not every mushroom I have pictured below is poisonous (and I absolutely delight in eating several different kinds of shrooms in my cooking) I get those I eat from the supermarket and leave the ones I spot in the woods alone. The risk of accidental poisoning is simply too great to take a chance.

Yellow-Stalked Puffball


Calostoma lutescens

Spotted these mushrooms "sprouting" right on the Rattlesnake Trail (by Rock Creek Park) on Nov. 27th, 2011. Have never seen them before. A type of puffball, the spores are grown internally (rather than on gills); they have an elaborate red-fringed openning to dispense the spores that looks like a small blossom.

Puffballs generally rely on passive release (spores are ejected when "ball" is struck by a rain drop, or stepped on.) But it seems to me that these may be attempting to use insects to aid in spore dispersal, tricking insects into thinking they can get nectar from a flower -- but I have found no information to confirm this, so the bug connnection is mere conjecture on my part. Also, the time of year (late November) wouldn't seem to lend itself to utilizing very many insects... but you never know, fungi can be plenty wily.

A few specimens at:
The NC State Park System's NRID Photo Gallery

aka Lattice Puffball, some info here:
A Field Guide to Mushrooms: North America


Yellow Patches


Amanita flavoconia

Well-formed and "statuesque" for a mushroom, these were coming up in May in a mixed woods (but mostly of pine/spruce in that little area) along the Rattlesnake trail, about a half mile north of Rock Creek.

Very poisonous

photographed June 1, 2010

Coker's Amanita


Amanita cokeri

Like ghosts among the trees, I spied these near-alabaster shrooms among the hardwoods of the Rattlesnake Trail (Unaka Wilderness) in the gathering dusk of June 19, 2011. Poisonous and esentially odorless.


Scaly Pholiota


Pholiota squarrosa

Once conidered edible, it has been found to cause a severe reaction in some people, especially if consumed with alcohol. Pictured here young mushrooms are growing from a large, rotting stump along with some ferns. I spotted them on my way back from Rock Creek Falls in October, 2010.

Wikipedia entry


Dryads Saddle


Polyporus squamosus

aka Pheasant Back Mushroom

I don't eat found mushrooms because I don't trust my like to identification on the internet. If I had someone knowledgeable to show me whata shrooms are edible, then I would likely indulge myself, as I do buy mushrooms from the supermarket fo rmany purposes. that said, I give you a good link:

Dryads Saddle at mushroom-collecting site

Red Reishi


Ganoderma lucidum

Woody mushroom growing mostly on dead trees. Spotted this specimen on short path to Red Creek Falls.

I originally mislabeled this as a Red Banded polypore (Fomitopsis pinicola), but Andrew Quintero pointed out my error. (Redder rather than brown/black stem was a give-away.)

I really appreciate when someone helps out with identification!


Turkey Tail mushroom


Trametes versicolor

I saved the most common for last. Although they come in sometimes widely varied colors, the Turkey Tail mushrooms are commonly seen on dead logs and stumps the world over.

Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month for August 1997

May 25, 2010


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Plant Sections
Berries
Raspberry, blueberry, Indian Strawberry, Wintergreen Berry...

Blue
Whitemouth Dayflower, Virginia Spiderwort...

Purple
Smooth Phlox, Purple Phacelia, Late Purple Aster...

Mushrooms
Amanita, Turkey Tail, Dryads Saddle...

Non-Flowering
Plants

Tree Groundpine...

Orange
Trumpet Vine, Turks Cap Lily...

Pink
Red Turtlehead, Showy Evening Primrose...

Red
Cardinal Flower, Fire Pink, Southern Red Trillium...

Trees
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White
Star Chickweed, Creeping Bush Clover...

Yellow
Coltsfoot, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Rattlesnake weed...

Related Sites

Tennessee Wildflowers
Kris Light has a wonderful site full of pictures and information. Her site has helped me ID several flowers.
TN Wildflowers


Appalachian Treks
Mark Peacock has some great pictures and info on trails around my area of Eastern Tennessee.
App. Treks


Hiking Bill
Sort of an online tour guide to S. Appalachian hiking trails, by someone who obviously loves to hike.
Hiking Bill


TN Wildflower Gallery
These pages on by Cheryl Hiers, who obviously does a lot of hiking and photography.
Wildflower Guide


Flicr
Wildflower field guide. Just tons of wildflower photos, some really exceptional.
Flicr Flowers

Conservation

Plastic Waste
Every piece of plastic ever made still exists...
Very Cool YouTube Video...