My Digital Photography of Mosses, Fungi and Lichens

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My Moss Garden

Summer 2009

The north side of the house was very muddy and hard to pass into the backyard without messing up one's shoes.  Because of the shade, grass would not fill in this area.  Then I discovered all the moss growing underneath the grass.  I removed a lot of the grass to reveal the moss.  I also transplanted some moss around the stepping stones.  I even purchased a few other different kinds of moss from someone on E-bay.  The mosses were supposed to be hardy through the winter even though they were from Arkansas, however, many of the local birds decided that they enjoyed this new moss for their nests and continued to tear it up after they discovered it.  These pictures show everything in the order it was created.

       

       

       

       

     

Macro moss photos...

     

   

 

I must admit that I didn't do a whole lot of work maintaining my moss garden until late August.  I was somewhat discouraged after the birds ate up a lot of my favorite types.  Now I am happy to work on it again as I have found that many of my transplants have really done well and the areas are filling in quickly with moss.

     

       

 

Summer 2010

Unfortunately, the purchased moss is nowhere in sight, but the other local varieties are doing well.  However, it takes a lot of maintenance to keep the grass from growing back in, so while some areas look great (by the stepping stones, which turned out to be very cheaply made and are already disintegrating), other areas are overgrown with grass again and have to be redone (not pictured). 

   

 

 

 

Fungi

 

Strange Puffballs

This strange fungus was growing near the bird feeding area by the woodpile, right in the grass (although kind of sparse there).  With the naked eye, they looked like crystals---they reminded me of those crystals I used to make as a kid with blueing and some other household chemicals.  It wasn't until I looked at the photographs that I realized they were not at all crystalline.  The largest ones were about 3/4".  They were photographed on August 20, 2011.

   

   

   

     

 

 

Super long-stemmed Mushroom

My dad found this strange mushroom.  By the time he gave it to me, it was dried out.  The cap measured a mere 5/8", but the stem was 4 1/2" long!  It was photographed on July 15, 2010

     

 

 

Mushrooms in the Lawn

These mushrooms were in my lawn on July 13, 2010.  I had my macro lens on at the time, photographing flowers, so I had to stand back about 10-12 feet to photograph them.

 

 

 

White Mushroom in My Moss Garden

This white mushroom appeared in the middle of some moss.  I first photographed it on September 15, 2009.

     

By the next day, it had opened up to look like this...

   

 

 

Unknown Mushrooms and a Small Puffball

Brian was mowing the lawn at one of my parents' properties and found some mushrooms on July 4, 2008.  Rather than mowing them over, he brought them home for me to photograph.  The white one is a small puffball.

   

   

   

     

 

Ear Fungus Log Grows Filamentous Friends, Stemonitis splendens

I kept a birch log my dad gave me for over a year.  It had some interesting shelf fungus on it and it looked nice in my toad terrarium.  I dismantled my terrarium so it could be used by my tortoises instead of the toads.  This left me with no place to put the piece of wood, so I had to set it in the backyard.  I noticed a strange new fungus growing.  I determined it to be Stemonitis splendens, known commonly as Chocolate Tube Slime.  At the base, it looked like bristly hairs, but near the middle, it was covered in a transparent membrane.  Much of the membrane seemed to be covered in spores.  Some of my photographs didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I didn't have much time on this day.  These photos were taken November 6, 2006.

   

   

   

   

     

     

 

Photos of various fungi from my trip to the Croatan National Forest in NC in November 2006

       

     

 

Photos of various fungi from my trip to the Saugatuck Dunes in MI on October 14, 2006

   

     

   

   

     

   

     

 

Reliving the Past

On September 26, 2006, my dad and grandma found this Giant Puffball in a Michigan woods while searching for edible mushrooms.  It had been 27 years since we'd found anything near the size of the one we found in 1979 (the following story).    It was 38 inches in circumference (the long way around).  My parents have developed a taste for these things and my mom sautes them up every time they find one.  Since they also had some other smaller ones to eat (and they don't stay fresh for too long), they let me keep this big one.  Also shown is the inside of another puff-ball (last 2 pictures).  It kind of looks like cream cheese or cheese cake.

me and puffball 9-30-06.jpg (136425 bytes)  dad and puffball 9-27-06.jpg (150875 bytes)  me and puffball head straight 9-30-06.jpg (148202 bytes)

puffball 9-27-06 side 1.jpg (135005 bytes)  puffball 9-27-06 side 2a.jpg (153613 bytes)  puffball 9-27-06 underside.jpg (150494 bytes)

puffball 9-27-06 side 2c.jpg (133825 bytes)  puffball 9-27-06 inside 2.jpg (129908 bytes)  puffball 9-27-06 inside closeup.jpg (124348 bytes)

 

The Most Amazing Puffball Ever!

This is a truly spectacular puffball specimen. My parents and I found it in a Michigan woods in 1979. This picture shows me at 4 years old holding it.  Unfortunately, my dad busted it up before my mom and I could stop him. This could have been a museum piece---I've never seen any others of this magnitude again. Click the links below to read more about puffballs.

puffball 79.jpg (65345 bytes)


puffball info 9-27-06.jpg (193775 bytes)


More Puffball Information

 

The Trees Have Ears!

Pictured below is a log that my dad and uncle found in a woods in Interlochen, MI in late September, 2005.  It was longer, but they sawed it down to a smaller size for easier transport.  My dad took it back home to the Metro-Detroit area to show me.  Of course, I had to photograph it.  What was so special about this birch log was that it contained two specimens of an unknown fungus, one of which resembled an ear coming out from the bark.  The other probably looked like this at one time, but it had shriveled up.  The log also contained some beautiful lichens on its surface, which I also photographed.  I was even lucky enough to capture a red spider mite in action.

Click on each thumbnail for an enlarged view of each scene.

ear fungus complete view from back cropped.jpg (128821 bytes)  ear fungus complete view from front cropped.jpg (130555 bytes)  ear fungus complete view from back angle 2 cropped.jpg (122303 bytes)

ear fungus both resting good ear in focus.jpg (115640 bytes)  ear fungus back view of fresh one cropped.jpg (101663 bytes)  ear fungus dead closeup.jpg (129437 bytes)

ear fungus origin bell downward.jpg (111695 bytes)  ear fungus origin bell downward closeup.jpg (105886 bytes)  ear fungus back view of fresh one bell up.jpg (123277 bytes)

  ear fungus origin infinite closeup.jpg (108643 bytes)  ear fungus super closeup 2.jpg (123971 bytes)  ear fungus origin super closeup.jpg (128076 bytes)  

ear fungus resting moon shadow.jpg (95189 bytes)    ear fungus super closeup.jpg (135450 bytes)  ear fungus resting big shadow.jpg (104107 bytes)

 

 

 

Lichens

 

Here is the lichen that was found on the log above..

lichen closeup dark hole.jpg (105043 bytes)  lichen infinite closeup 4 cropped.jpg (118574 bytes)  lichen infinite closeup flat lichen.jpg (111118 bytes)

lichen infinite closeup 3.jpg (114852 bytes)  lichen infinite closeup.jpg (114848 bytes)  lichen infinite closeup 4.jpg (127269 bytes)

A tiny spider mite got into the first picture below.  The second and third photographs are crops of the first.

lichen closeup spider mite best.jpg (106463 bytes)  lichen closeup spider mite best cropped.jpg (102333 bytes)  lichen closeup spider mite best cropped twice.jpg (85463 bytes)

 

 

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