I'm out of town right now with stunningly crappy internet, but will try to redeem myself a bit with some scheduled posts. Mostly pictures (uploaded before crappy internet). We'll have plenty of time to do some hardcore SCIENCE in the new year! =)
For this Friday, let's do mushrooms. I've collected a few photos of these things while going out hiking, and spend way too much time staring at the ground and rotten tree trunks for my own good. Despite having a slight extracurricular obsession with mushrooms, I'm not very good at identifying them -- can do genus if I'm lucky (ie, it's obvious). But they're alien and pretty to look at nevertheless, so I hope you enjoy! Remember, just as in the previous Frivolous Photo Friday where we witnessed a killing machine devouring a roach, these guys are not any more docile. Beneath the passive-looking fruiting bodies, the mycelium is busy exuding digestive substances into its surroundings, and soaking in the tasty remnants. Basically, the stomach of a fungus is its outside -- and we're all part of it, sooner or later...
First, some Jack-o-Lanterns. Apparently, they bioluminesce, but I haven't yet seen that.
A couple thinly stalked Mycena sp.. This is a particularly understudied genus of tiny, yet elegant, finely-stalked mushrooms -- some quite colourful, but most fairly pale. They still look cute close up though.
And here is something yellow with a seriously slimy cap. This is a young specimen, as the veil is still intact and hiding the gills. If this veil is finely net-like, these might be a Cortinarius sp., but I think the veil might be too densely fibrillar for that. Not that I really know what I'm talking about or anything, especially without half-functional internet.
If you have some ID or general cool mushroom stories to tell -- comment away!