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Here's some mushroom finds from the first half of 2002. Enjoy!
I'm going to continually keep old photos on this page and keep the newest finds on the Home page. Check back here often for past finds.

This year I bought a new digital camera for mushroom hunting. Last year I found literally hundreds of different types of mushrooms and now I wish I would have had some record of what they looked like. I've taken all pictures below with my new Sony DSC-P51. This is probably the best digital camera you can get for mushrooms since it has an automatic macro mode that allows you to get as close as three inches from your subject! The pictures come out huge, 19 inches x 14 inches and must be cut and shrunk to get the pictures on your web site. I would recommend that everyone interested in mushroom photography get a digital camera, perhaps one similar to the Sony DSC-P51!

Coprinus micaceus
(Common names include 'Mica Cap' and 'Glistening Inky Cap')
June 18/19, 2002 - I can't believe I found some more! I'm starting to think that there are mushrooms everywhere! It's just a matter of finding them as they come up as they are gone within just a few days. I found these in my back yard growing in the grass and also found a bunch of them growing in a nearby park. They were growing around old buried stumps and live trees and a few growing right on the wood itself. At first I didn't think they were inky caps (Coprinus) because the spores were brown but textbooks indicate that it does indeed have brown spores. The mushrooms I found in the park had what appeared to be black spores and at the time I thought they were a different mushroom than those collected earlier in my back yard. I brought them home and took a spore print and it came out dark brown just like the rest of them. This is an excellent edible when young but quickly goes bad when the cap turns 'inky'. It was found growing in large numbers in the park, perhaps in the hundreds! They have been reported to appear in the spring, summer and fall. I have seen these come up about a month ago before I bought my camera (late May). The common name indicates that the surface of the cap is sprinkled with silver glistening particles when the cap first emerges and if you get a young cap and hold it in direct sunlight it glistens with very tiny silvery glitter, even under the cap it glistens (before the gills turn black). I'm 99.9% sure that this is Coprinus micaceus but I wouldn't bet my life on it and make a meal of them until I had a second or third opinion!

Today's Find, June 17, 2002
These mushrooms were growing on the lawn at work. At first I thought they were Agaricus campestris until I looked at the spores under the microscope. The spore size for campestris is 6.5 - 8.0 um X 4.0 - 5.5 um. If you look at the picture of the spores with the scale on it the minor tick marks are 5um each so the spores are only about 3-5um long, much smaller than campestris. The spore print was dark brown and I'm sure it is some type of Agaricus. Last year I had these growing in my yard by the bucketful! I tried to fry some up but they smelled strongly of phenol. You can kind of smell the same thing in the fresh mushroom but not as strong. I wouldn't suggest eating these.

I also found these on June 17, 2002 and I believe they are the same as the unknown #1 below. I tried to take a spore print of these but they were too dried out. They were in approximately the same location as the others I had found. I almost stepped on them! They were growing right along the river walk next to the cement pathway. I also had a chance to check out the oyster mushrooms that were growing there (see photo below) and in just a couple days they were reduced to a brown 'crumble'.

Oyster Mushrooms!
I found these beauties fresh and dried near the banks of the river here in Denver Colorado. They are great edibles if found fresh but unfortunately these were riddled with bugs. I found them today, Friday June 14, 2002. I'm sure the fresh ones are oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus pulmonarius) but I'm not 100% sure of the identification of the dried ones (third and fourth pictures).

Unknown Mushrooms #1
I found these on June 16, 2002. They were both growing within inches of each other. It is a fairly large mushroom, about 4 inches across the cap. Most of the stem was underground. You can see the part of the stem that was above ground is bright white. If you can help me identify these please send me an e-mail at cchardwick@capsandstems.com

Unknown mushroom #2
Let me know your thoughts on these! The cap size on this was about two inches across and the stem is tough and stringy. You can see in one picture I pulled the stem in half to see what the texture was like. I can't believe that all these were growing despite the severe drought! Enjoy!

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Site Posted on November 30, 2001
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Mushroom Identification