September 11th. (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.
In a humid area where ferns grow, a tree had died and part of the trunk had fallen to the ground. These brackets had ‘lost’ their violet margins had had been colonized by algae, giving them a greenish color. These are the Violet-toothed Polypores (Trichaptum biforme).
The undersides of young brackets are also stated to be a deep violet color and have irregular-shaped pores that are visible to the naked eye. I have found that many young Violet-toothed Polypores don’t exhibit the deep violet color. As the brackets age, the pores deteriorate into teeth-like structures.
The mold that had grown on the fruit of the Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) near the top of the hill was quite thick but still hadn’t appeared to have harmed the developing fruit.
Just past the Tulip Poplar, only one of the plants in the patch of Hairy Elephantsfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) was still blooming, but it was covered in flowers.
A little way up the hill from the Tulip Poplar, I noticed a small cluster of yellow mushrooms that looked like chantarelles. These mushrooms had ‘flat’ caps compared with the slightly depressed caps I was familiar with on Cantharellus ‘cibarius’ mushrooms I had seen in a different location a couple of months earlier.
When I turned one over, I found that it lacked the ‘folds’ that are characteristic of C. ‘cibarius.’ A little bit of sleuthing – assuming that it was a Cantharellus species – suggested that it was Cantharellus lateritius, commonly known as the Smooth Chanterelle. Again, friends on the Facebook Mushroom Identification Forum confirmed this identification.
I walked down to the dam and then started along the ‘return’ trail.
More of the seed capsules on the Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa) had ripened during the previous week.
The gall caused by the cynipid wasp, Amphibolips acuminata, had aged considerably but was still hanging on the Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata) sapling.
Hairy Small-leaved Tick-trefoil (Desmodium ciliare) plants were blooming at several sites along this section of the trail.
I wanted to follow the aging of the Daedaleopsis septrionalis brackets that I had found on a fallen branch. This fungus is a gilled polypore that has bifurcated gills compared with the Gilled Polypore (Lenzites betulina) that has simple gills.
The gills on this bracket were thinning as they matured. Once they have thinned it becomes more difficult to see the bifurcations of the gills; the gills appear to break at the points of bifurcation and the gill surface shows concentric ‘ridges’ that are helpful in identifying these brackets as they age.
From here I walked on around to the trail along the ‘lake’ shore opposite the swimming beach.
(To be continued…)
- Messiah College: Trichaptum biforme
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Liriodendron tulipifera
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: Cantharellus ‘cibarius)
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: Cantharellus lateritius
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Angelica venenosa
- Anybody Seen My Focus?: Mystery Oak Gall Identified: Cynipid Wasp (Amphilbolips acuminata) Gall On Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata)
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Desmodium ciliare
- Messiah University: Daedaleopsis septrionalis
- 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)