Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Summer At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, August 25th, 2015 (Part 1)

August 25th. I started to walk again at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia. One of my favorite walks is from the Group Shelter A to the Old Fort and back.This is a rewarding walk for viewing wildflowers and I’ve been trying to walk it weekly and document the wildflowers I see.

The route, which I described here, here, and here.
The early spring wildflowers have finished blooming; it’s time to watch the developing fruit. Summer wildflowers were still blooming but it was time to turn attention to the fungi in the woods.

The first thing I saw near the beginning of the trail was surprising; slime mold fruiting bodies.

A cluster of ‘Honeycomb’ Coral Slime (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa var. porioides) fruiting bodies had formed at the base of an old pine stump. This is one of my favorite slime molds although it’s hard to appreciate its structure when the fruiting bodies are mature and releasing their spores. Nevertheless, I was excited to see them.

A little further along the trail, I spotted a eupatorium a little distance from the trail. Closer inspection showed it was a single Roundleaf Thoroughwort (Eupatorium rotundifolium) plant in bloom. It was the only plant of this species that I’ve seen in the park. I’m afraid that the trees are going to shade it out. 

On the other side of the trail, still in the pine forest, I found a ‘new’ mushroom.

Superficially, it was similar to the Ornate-stalked Bolete (Retiboletus ornatipes) but the cap was a deeper color (although not as deep a red as I have seen since.) This mushroom was also a bolete with pores instead of gills. Unlike the Ornate-stalked Bolete, this mushroom had a reddish color under the ornate stem. This was the Shaggy Stalked Bolete (Heimioporus betula). 

Just beyond the pine forest, there are three old logs, probably pine, that are covered with small bracket fungi. I had to stop and take a closer look at them. There were at least two different types of fungi on these logs.

The first type were dark with light margins.

Their undersides were covered with pores. These were Turkey Tails (Trametes versicolor). Turkey Tail fungi can vary widely in color patterns.

Nearby were small bracket fungi that looked similar in shape and also had concentric color patterns. It would be easy to call them Turkey Tails but their

undersides had gills, not pores. These are called Gilled Polypores (Lenzites betulina).

Flowering Spurges (Euphorbia corollata) were still blooming in the open woods just beyond the pine forest.

The Virginia Meadowbeauty (Rhexia virginica) were also still blooming at the lake’s shore.

The fruit on the Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus) had developed a litle more pink color but they were still far from ripe.

The Small Wood Sunflower (Helianthus microcephalis) plants were still blooming in the shade along this section of the trail.

At the edge of the open woods, I found this small cousin of the Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) that grows along roadsides. This plant is the small Sensitive Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista nictitans). The plant was about 12 inches tall. In my experience, it’s unusual to see the the flowers fully open, but I was lucky enough to find one on this plant. 

I made my way along to the open area under the power line where a flash of red caught my eye.

It took me a couple of seconds to realize I was looking at fruit on another, large Strawberry Bush. These fruit were further along than those on the bush in the shade. 

Below them, closer to the water,…

a Perennial Wildbean (Strophostyles umbellata) was still blooming, as were…

Groundnut (Apios americanus),…

Pigeonwings (Clitoria mariana) and…

Spurred Butterflypea (Centrosema virginianum) vines.

From here, I walked along to the ‘first’ bridge.
(To be continued…) 

- Mushroom Expert. Kuo, M. (2010 March). Heimioporus betula. 
- Mushroom Expert. Kuo, M. (2005 March). Trametes versicolor. The turkey tail. 
- Mushroom Expert. Kuo, M. Lenzites betulina. The Gilled Polypore. 

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