Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain...

It was an absolutely beautiful day on Sunday; the sky was a deep blue and the fallen leaves were so dry that they crunched under our feet as we hiked.  We started down by the creek, which is choked full of fallen leaves now, and then headed up on the hill tops before returning back to the creek bottom near the backwater I often write about.  As the weather channel forecast said that morning, there was “abundant sunshine” all day long and it was a fantastic fall day to be in the woods.

Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) -
As I’ve written several times recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of Turkeytails this fall so it seems like it’s going to be a good year for them.  I hope so, they’re so colorful and one of my favorite mushrooms.  I’ve read that a tea can be made from them, but I can’t imagine it would taste very good since as is the case with most mushrooms, Turkeytails have a very “earthy” odor.

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) -
Most of the White Snakeroot still in the woods has long passed its prime and the flowers are grey and brittle from drying out.  But we did come across this one that still had bright white blossoms and looked really healthy.  However I would suspect that we won’t see any more White Snakeroot flowering this year.

Unknown Mushroom - 
I’m really not sure what type of mushroom this is, but I found it interesting how it grew inside this woodpecker hole on the side of the tree.  If I had to guess, it might be a Yellow Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), but honestly I’m not really sure.

Beech Aphid Poop Eater fungus (Scorias spongiosa) -
Last year at this time, I saw a lot of Beech Aphid Poop Eater fungus.  As a matter of fact, it seemed like I saw it everywhere I looked, but this year there isn’t really that much of it around.  Either way, Beech Aphids Poop Eater fungus is very interesting to me…  Beech Aphids or Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) produce a basic sugar as their “poop” in off white masses that collect in masses on Beech leaves and branches.  Then the Poop Eater fungus grows on and feeds off those sugars, turning the entire mass black. 

Tulip Leaf (Liriodendron tulipifera) -
Tulip trees, also known as Yellow Poplar, don’t typically have such large leaves, at least in my experience, but this particular leaf we found was huge.  And the greenish yellow color of the leaf contrasted against the browns of the leaves and rocks in the stream making for an interesting picture.

Scaly Pholiota (Pholiota squarrosa) - 
Scaly Pholiota are one of my favorite mushrooms.  The small white protrusions that are on the surface of their caps and stems make them look like they have “armor” protecting them.  I don’t see a lot of Scaly Pholiota around and interestingly I actually photographed a few specimens on this exact same log last year at this time so we were excited to see them there again.

Black Footed Polypore (Royoporus badius) -
This is the first time I’ve come across Black Footed Polypore and my nephew (the webmaster at is the one who deserves the credit for identifying it.  This was the largest of the few that were clustered together and it really was spectacular looking.  Plus, I love learning new things, so I was happy to have learned a new type of mushroom.

Pear Shaped Puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme) -
These Pear Shaped Puffballs have matured and are ready to release their spores at the slightest touch.  Most of the other puffballs I've seen this year are quite as far along, but these did in fact produce their tell-tale spore cloud when I struck them with a stick.

Delicate Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum) with Green Earth Tongue Fungus (Microglossum viride) -
I’ve never spent much time photographing and identifying all the mosses around the Little Sewickley Creek valley but when I saw the green club fungus  growing out of the moss I knew it would make a cool picture.  So I did work on identifying both and if I am correct, the moss is Delicate Fern Moss and the club fungus is actually Green Earth Tongue.  Mosses are very plentiful and easy to spot in our area, but club fungi are much harder to come by so I am glad I was able to identify it.  And Green Earth Tongue seems like a fitting name based on its appearance.

More Pictures:

Unknown Small Brown Mushroom

Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor)

Scaly Pholiota (Pholiota squarrosa)

Unknown Reddish Brown Mushrooms

Paper Wasp Nest

False Turkeytail Mushroom (Stereum ostrea)

Unknown Blue Green Mushroom