The Lobster Mushroom is actually two fungi in one! Technically, it’s a combo of Hypomyces lactifluorum (parasitic) and Russula brevipes (which is the host mushroom). The lobster fungus, which is an ascomycete, invades the tissues of the host. Considered a choice edible, it both looks (colorwise) and tastes somewhat like its namesake.

Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail, Oregon, October 2014.

Olympia OM-D E-M1 with 45mm Olympus prime.

1/40 @ ISO250 and f2.2

I've Got the Blues (for You)


There it is. A big old blue Reishi (Ganoderma oregonense).

Hard to refute, but even harder to explain. These color variants (for reasons unknown) of the normally cherry-red Ganoderma oregonense are somewhat rare, but always draw attention when encountered. Noah Siegel reports that they are at least more frequent on the Olympic Peninsula.

This specimen was found by Massachusetts’ Arch-Matriarch of another polypore (Grifola frondosa), Elinoar Shavit. She speculated that bacterial or viral infections may be responsible for this color. Which would be interesting if true.

Other blue fungi that I encountered in Washington State earlier this month include the quasi-mythical ‘Blue Chanterelle’ Polyozellus multiplex. This species is actually more closely related to Thelephora and like many species in that genus it yields some lovely blue dyes for those textile-obsessed among you.


Baby Blues (Polyozellus multiplex) above, older ones below.


And then there was the matter of a really nice swarm of Gymnopilus punctifolius. This species appears to be an old-growth specialist, fruiting most often inside the hollowed ends of big, rotting conifer logs throughout the west.

The coloration of this mushroom is astonishing, and completely like any other members of the genus. The cap ranges from sky-blue at first to greenish, then yellow, and finally a more typical orange. The gills often remain green and the base of the stipe is dabbed with purple mycelium! What?!


Sky-blue baby Gymnopilus punctifolius. Why are they that color tho.

Finally, Cortinarius violaceus. I know it’s not blue. But. 


Just look at this hot mess. Purple cap. Orange spores. Fishnets.

Tune in next week for rarer, weirder and/or more interesting fungi I found in the moist and chilly north.

Oh and here’s some Mick for your weekend:

The Mystical World Of Mushrooms Captured In Photos

Most people consider mushrooms to be the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, but theirs is  surprisingly beautiful and wonderful world waiting to be explored. These beautiful mushrooms, captured by enthusiastic nature photographers, are a far cry from the ones you find in the woods or your local grocery store.

Most mushrooms, as we know them, are actually just the reproductive structure of the fungus they belong to – their fungal networks expand far further underground, and some fungi don’t even sprout the sort of mushrooms that we’re used to seeing. In fact, depending on your definition of “organism,” the largest living organism in the world is a fungus – there’s a honey mushroom colony in Oregon that occupies about 2,000 acres of land! ( Bored Panda )




a branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy and their use to humans as a source for tinder, medicinals (e.g.: penicillin), food (e.g.: beer, wine, cheese, edible mushrooms) and entheogens, as well as their dangers, such as poisoning and infection.

Etymology: from Greek mukēs, “fungus, mushroom” + lógos, “account, explanation, narrative”.

[Vladimir Stankovic]