When the conditions are right, and we’ve had a wet fall season, I often head into the forest in search of mushrooms and fungi to photograph. I found these Candlesnuff Fungus/ Carbon Antlers (Xylaria hypoxylon) in Campbell Valley Park in Langley, British Columbia. This was not a species I had seen before, and in many ways is more interesting than the simple cap mushrooms I’ve photographed in the past here. Also in contrast to the mushrooms I’ve photographed, this species was unique enough (I hope) that I was able to determine the actual genus and species for it.
This small group of mushrooms was growing in a mossy stump at Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia. Virtually any forested area in the Fraser Valley will have a lot of mushrooms this time of year, especially if there has been enough moisture to support them. I like photographing mushrooms, especially when the fall colours are fading in the parks close to home. I had actually gone to this park the day before, but forgot my macro lens. While my 70-200mm does a great job of photographing subjects like these from a distance, I pushed the minimum focusing distance a bit too much and wound up with sharp moss and out of focus mushrooms in some photographs (a lazy mistake). So I went back the next day with the macro lens to do a proper job. I wasn’t able to decide if I liked the wider angle version or the tighter composition of the second image, so I posted both of them here.
Trio of small mushrooms on a mossy stump (Purchase)
-click to enlarge-
Despite my Biology background, I have little knowledge of mushroom and fungi identification. I always try to ID everything I photograph down to the species level if possible. With mushrooms, unless they are very distinct, I have very little luck getting to the Genus level on occasion. Since I can’t ID the ones I photograph, I’m never going to be someone who goes out to get ones to eat! Too many subtle variations between species, sometimes requiring a microscope for proper identification. I think I will stick to the ones in the grocery store!
A few months ago I walked through Campbell Valley Park with only my macro lens on my camera. The point of this exercise was that I wanted to focus on just type of shot and not get distracted by other sorts of shots. I wanted to concentrate on the small things like this mushroom, or another subject from that day – a Bleeding Heart flower.
Unfortunately I am not adept at identification of fungi, so I’ll get as close as possible and merely identify this as some sort of Mycena sp.