Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/27/2014

Photo taken on June 12, 2014

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rotting log
Maclean Pond
Elbow Falls Trail
W of Calgary
Highway 66
Lichenomphallia ericetorum

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Fascinating forest find

Fascinating forest find
On 12 June 2014, I drove westwards to the mountains, along Elbow Falls Trail (Highway 66) as far as Maclean Pond. I did a very slow walk, and was very happy when I noticed these tiny mushrooms growing on a fallen, rotting log. They may have been something like an inch tall. When I come across fungi that look like these, I'm never completely sure whether they are mushrooms or if they belong to a lichen that grows something very similar. This time, I know it's a Lichen, thanks to Ken Dies' help.

"Lichenomphallia is a genus of lichenized Basidomycetes or club fungi which has spores produced on club-shaped basidia. The lichen fungus resembles a mushroom and the algae are concentrated in special tissues or lobes at the base of the fruiting body. This plant is found in both books on Lichens and books on Mushrooms as Omphalina."

I had hoped to find lots of wildflowers in bloom, but the main plant was the Dandelion, so it was obviously too early after our late spring. Also a very few Shootingstars, one Blue-eyed Grass in bloom, several Valerian flowers, several clusters of Mouse-eared Chickweed, and not much else.

On the way home, I drove a few of the backroads SW of Calgary, where I photographed a pair of Mountain Bluebirds, a Snipe, a Tree Swallow, a Brewer's Blackbird, and a Black Tern that was perched on a fence post. Usually, when I see Terns, they are flying fast and my camera can't catch them.

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