A Grey Day up at the Park

I haven't posted in a while even though I had a couple of posts in the works so this post is from mid-December... It was an especially grey day one weekend back in early December and a light mist was even coming down but we didn't let that stop us from hiking for a few hours.  The woods are really bare right now, but I was still able to get some good pictures.

False Turkeytail (Stereum ostrea) -
I've posted photos of False Turkeytails before and even though they don't exhibit the wide range of true Turkeytails, they can be pretty striking in their own right.

Hairy Parchment (Stereum hirsutum) -
Hairy Parchment is a smaller shelf fungus that typically grows in clusters that line tree trunks and branches.  Our area also has "Crowded Parchment" (Stereum complicatum) but it is white whereas Hairy Parchment is orangish-brown.

Whitewash Lichen (Phlyctis argena) -
I've never come across Whitewash Lichen before but it really stood out from quite a distance away.  Fortunately it was pretty easy to identify and from what I've read, can be found across the world.  "Whitewash" seems like a fitting name since that was exactly how it looked on the tree bark.

Fan Clubmoss (Diphasiastrum digitatum) - 
Fan Clubmoss is the most common species of Clubmoss found in North America and typically grows in large colonies that can carpet the forest floor.  This specimen was found in the park along Spruce Run trail and was in fact part of a large patch that spread over quite a significant area.  It is also an evergreen, so it holds it green color throughout the year.

Butterfly Weed Seedpod (Asclepias tuberosa) -
Butterfly Weed Seedpods look very similar to Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) seedpods only they're much narrower and more elongated.  These seed pods, which I photographed about a month or so ago when they were mature, have now released their seeds and will hopefully produce an abundant crop next year.

Black Footed Polypore (Royoporus badius) -
My nephew and I first identified Black Footed Polypores a few months ago and they really are a very beautiful mushroom.  These specimens were definitely past their prime, but they were still identifiable nonetheless.

The "O" Tree
We stopped to take a quick break when we saw this tree that had split and then rejoined to form an elongated "o" shape.  I've seen a lot of strange and interesting things in the woods, but this is the first I've seen a tree trunk do that.

Grey Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) -
I'm not 100% sure about this identification, but it certainly does look like a grey colored Oyster Mushroom.  According to my Guide books, their season lasts well into the fall, so it is quite possible that it is an Oyster mushroom, which is also listed as a "choice edible."

More Pictures:

 Turkeytail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Black Footed Polypore (Royoporus badius)

Whitewash Lichen (Phlyctis argena)

False Turkeytail (Stereum ostrea)

Turkeytail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Unknown Shelf Fungus