A Fondness for Fungi: Birch Boletes(?)

I’m back at home after several days at the cabin, during which I had no time at all to pay any attention either new posts or comments from my WordPress pals. In fact, it may be a week or more before I can get back to reasonably normal.  Be that as it may, it was a wonderful trip, and I’ll be posting about it for some time. One of the highlights was a walk in the woods, during which I found that the mushroom population has absolutely exploded this year. I’ve never seen so many and in such variety. I’ll start with a decades- old birch stump that is very close to the cabin. I’ve seen mushrooms growing on it before, but something has caused ideal conditions, and I was quite literally stopped in my tracksBirch Boletes 2688crlrpswhen I saw what has flourished there. I didn’t have the time, unfortunately, to consult my Minnesota mushroom field guide, so I’ve done a quick Google search, and I believe that they are birch boletes (Leccinum scabrum). We will be returning in a couple of weeks to close the place up for the winter, and I’ll try to examine one more closely to be able to identify them more reliably. Meanwhile, aren’t they magnificent?

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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14 Responses to A Fondness for Fungi: Birch Boletes(?)

  1. Vicki says:

    What a marvellous crop. Now if they were edible……..even better :)

  2. I believe I saw and photographed the same or quite similar yesterday which I will post eventually. If they are the same I am not sure they are boletes but I am also not an expert. The ones I saw had gills. This is why only experts should chow down on fungi…so many look alike and only a spore print can tell you reliably and sometimes not even then. Nice colony.

    • krikitarts says:

      I plan to check them out more thoroughly when we go back up to close everything down for the season. I don’t know if they have gills or not; that will be the first thing that I look for. One way or the other, we won’t be eating them. We’re not experts either!

  3. Mike Powell says:

    Wow! Those mushrooms look magical (in a fairy-way, not in the way of the magic mushrooms of the 1960’s).

    • krikitarts says:

      Yup, I can well imagine wee folk bustling about among them. It would be fun to create little stairs, bridges, doors, windows, and the like, if only I had the time!

  4. shoreacres says:

    Is that a different kind of fungi, sneaking into the space between the colonies — some sort of shelf fungus? That’s funny — a photo-bombing fungus. Whatever they others are, they’re quite attractive, but your header photo’s the winner in my book.

    • krikitarts says:

      Yes, indeed, my sharp-eyed friend, that’s likely to be a young turkey-tail or something similar. I’ll have another look at that one as well and see if I can put a name to it, too. And thanks for the compliment on my header photo! I thought I’d be able to give you to a link to a post with the original image, but I made it in late September 2010 and didn’t start posting with WordPress until 2011. I love the results of my hike on that glorious day and may well have to do a flashback post.

  5. Bodacious Birch Boletes, Batman!

  6. A magnificent gathering!

  7. Beautiful photo but they aren’t birch boletes. Birch boletes are mycorrhizal on the roots of living birch trees so when the tree dies so does the fungus. The way that your mushrooms are growing on dead wood (wood decay fungus) and in clumps my guess is that this is probably a species of Armillaria. Did you get a photo of the underside of the cap?

    • krikitarts says:

      Hey, Geoff, I’m very grateful to receive your most informative comments. I do try to identify the flora and fauna about which I post, but my time during this foray was very limited. I’ve been hoping that someone could step in and point me in the right direction. As I mentioned in the post (and in replies to a few comments), I didn’t have the time to examine them closely enough, but I’ll be returning to the scene in the near future and will do what I can with what remains. I see that you are New-Zealand-based and am very much looking forward to consulting you regarding many more mycological marvels, as we are planning to spend much more time there in the near future. Meanwhile, I will see what I can find out about these in northern Minnesota and will be posting an update soon. Thanks again for sharing your insights and your expertise.

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