September 2nd. (Continued from… ). When I visited Fort Yargo State Park in mid-February, there were few signs of Spring. The only wildflower plants that were obvious were the leaves of Cranefly Orchids (Tipularia discolor) that I found in many places.
The route… I’ve described it here, here, here, and here This walk doesn’t have the variety of wildflowers as my other walk from the Group A Shelter to the Old Fort but it does have some gems. One of the Smallflower Pawpaw (Asimina parviflora) had developed fruit that, unfortunately, it had lost; the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Orchids had bloomed, and some Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia) Orchids had bloomed and two were setting seeds. For the moment, some wildflowers we still blooming but there was a lull between seasons. I had thought that the slime mold fruiting was done for the year, but I was in for a surprise. There were new fungi to be found too.
Finally, a couple of the seed capsules on the Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa) was ripening.
A little further along this section of trail I found a Yellow Patches Amanita (Amanita flavoconia) mushroom. The glossy surface on the caps of these mushrooms always look, to me, as if someone poured butterscotch sauce over them. Usually, the caps have yellow patches on them.
I checked fruit on the Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica) in the little inlet just before the bridge over the big ‘canyon.’ It still seemed to be developing.
We had had a storm a day or so before this walk. Winds had blown some small branches from tall trees in the forest. I found some more interesting…
small bracket fungi on one of these branches. The undersides of these were quite different from the other brackets I had been looking at.
These brackets had gills. Superficially, they looked like the Gilled Polypore (Lenzites betulina). However, closer examination of the gills showed that they were more complicated than those of the Gilled Polypore. These gills divided periodically along their length. Only recently, I identified them as Daedaleopsis septrionalis. Since finding these brackets, I’ve found them on three more branches that had fallen from trees in this forest. I’ve been told that this species doesn’t occurred frequently in the United States. I’m inclined to believe It appears that they may occur more frequently than recognized because they are growing on branches in trees and we only see them when the branches fall.
The Bicolor Lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor) bushes were still blooming further along the trail before it turned west.
A small Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) cluster was growing on a log.
Summer Oyster (Pleurotus pulmonarius) mushrooms were growing out of the top of a tree trunk that had been cut off. The tree was right beside the trail and, yet, I almost missed them; they were almost at eye level. They were a little past their best but still impressive. The largest was approximately six inches wide.
Another Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus), rare along this section of trail, was still blooming.
I found a striking mushroom, white with black scales, growing on a rotting log near where I had found the Little Nest Polypore. This was a Black-disc Lepiota, formerly Lepiota atrodisca, now Leucoagaricus atrodiscus.
I walked a little further along the trail and was startled by some flashes of red off to my right – where there shouldn’t have been anything that was red-colored. I had to laugh when I looked. They were…
Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus) seed capsules that had opened to expose their brightly colored fruits.
Sadly, the Ganoderma curtisii fungi that I had seen the previous weeks had disappeared. I believe that someone had collected them since they are believed to have medicinal properties when ground and used in teas. It’s important - although too late for these fungi - to note that it is illegal to collect plants or fungi in State Parks in Georgia. Collecting fungi robs people of the opportunity to see these fascinating fruits.
I was delighted to find that the Green Adder’s-mouth Orchid seed capsules were still developing nicely. I wondered how long it would take for them to ripen.
On the trail near the orchid, I found a single mushroom, a Russula sp., with a purple cap.There are at least five Russula sp. with purple caps and I didn’t have enough information to identify it further.
In the woods, the seed capsules on the Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) were still developing nicely too.
My final find, before I headed up the hill, was a cluster of mushrooms similar, at least superficially to the Suillus sp. that I had seen when I entered the woods. Like the earlier species, these had dry caps, but these had…
rings, indicating that they had veils. This was a different species, as yet unidentified species, from the one I had seen earlier on my walk.
Then on up the hill.
(To be continued…)
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: Amanita flavoconia
- Messiah University: Daedaleopsis septrionalis
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: Pleurotus pulmonariusI: The Summer Oyster
- Mushroom Observer, Walt Sturgeon: Leucoagaricus astrodiscus
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: The Genus Suillus
- Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, July 29th (Part 1)
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)