Fundamentals of Fungi: Blue-Gray Beauties


Remember way back to those first heady days of freedom after giving ye olde daye jobe the old heave-ho, when B and I celebrated by taking a last-minute trip down the Washington-Oregon coast? Good times, good times! Especially when I stumbled across this beauty at Cape Disappointment which is sure to delight all lovers of fine fungi – and may inspire the next blockbuster horror movie flick.

Image shows some crinkly-edged flat blue-gray fungi poking through stringy green moss.

Fungi I

So there it was, poking through the green moss on the bank of the trail. And it may not look like much in the above photo, but believe me – it’s loving the camera.

Fungi II

Fungi II

Pacific Northwest coastal forests are pretty shady places, and this was an overcast day, but you can still see a gorgeous interplay of filtered light and dark shadow on these beauties.

Fungi III

Fungi III

Of course the little curled-up bits at the end that look like screaming, toothy mouths is a bit disturbing, but still. That fine wavy-frilly shape at their ends, the way they swing out like a flamenco dancer’s skirts, put me more in mind of Spanish dancing than imminent horror movie.

Fungi IV

Fungi IV

Makes me want to go design a dress, actually. Maybe if I fail at this writing gig, I’ll remake myself into a costume designer. Wouldn’t be a bad old life. I would just have to find rich clients who like looking like a fungus. That shouldn’t be at all hard, right?

Eh, maybe I’ll stick to writing. But don’t be surprised if you see me doing some fungus-inspired scarves on the side!

Kudos in advance to the first person who can tell us what this fantastic fungi is.

Comments

  1. mechanoid says

    I don’t believe this is a true fungus, but is actually a lichen complex. I’m much better with fungi than lichens, but I would guess that this specimen is Peltigera membranacea.

    I’ll refer this post to my lichenologist friend (who got her PhD at OSU – yay!) and see if she will weigh in.

    Love Cape Disappointment by the way. My usual forage range is east of PDX all over Hood, West to Tillamook, and Northwest into the Long Beach, WA area, and Northeast into the Gifford Pinchot.

  2. tiko says

    I’ve got quite e few books on fungi identification and I can’t find anything that even remotely resembles this.

  3. tiko says

    I’ve got quite e few books on fungi identification and I can’t find anything that even remotely resembles this.

  4. tiko says

    Not sure how I managed to post twice.
    Thanks for the link @ Lithified Detritus. There’s a picture of Jelly ear fungus on there and at first I thought it could be a mis-coloured one of those, until I saw the rest of Dana’s pictures.
    I’ve never taken much notice of lichen’s and didn’t know they could be so ,um elaborate.I’ll definitely be keeping more an eye out for them next time I go fungi hunting.

  5. rq says

    Lichens can be awesomely elaborate (and those are just local Latvian varieties), plus apparently some of them are good for teas (like that white crunchy one, top row, fourth from the left – it’s a lot of fun to walk on *crrrnch crrrnch*, and supposedly reindeer food, too).
    This blue one is very pretty, doesn’t strike me as horror-inducing in any way. :)

  6. tiko says

    @rq
    You’re not kidding,some of those lichen’s look more like vegetables.
    What makes me laugh about google images,is that no matter how specific the search is, there’s always some random there.I get the fungi and general flora that might appear on a lichen search but why a motor cycle race!