Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin’s Big Pines Trail

Along many of Algonquin’s trails you will encounter a variety of mushrooms, fungi and lichen. Of course it always depends on the recent weather and the time of year. There are over 1000 different species of fungi found in Algonquin Park.

 

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This lichen, False Pixie Cup, always reminds of an episode from Star Trek, while it reminds Chitra of Shrek. It is the most common cupped lichen in Ontario.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2070 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

Found on a moss covered, rotting log, this Powder Horn Lichen is a similar colour as the False Pixie Cup, but it lacks the cup.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2074 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

One of many Bracket Fungi you will find throughout Ontario, this Trametes pubescens can be found on dead hardwood. 2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2092 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

Purple-toothed Polypore, or Trichaptum biforme, is another shelving species which turns greyish with age. There are many bracket fungi that are similar to each other and to make a more confident identification it is important to gather as much information as possible from each specimen. Where is it growing and on what type of surface or wood? What colour are it’s pores, if it has pores? What size is it? Perhaps photographing the fungi beside a ruler or coin would be helpful.

I do the best I can to identify mushrooms and species but I am a amateur, at best. If you know that one of the images I have identified is wrong, please let me know in the comments below.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2105 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

 

Thin, overlapping and shelving fungi with colouring that ranges from tan to orange to red-brown to amber is known as the extremely common Turkey Tail, or Trametes versicolor. There is also another species that resembles this fungi, known as False Turkey Tail (Stereum hirsutum). The best way to distinguish them is by looking at their underside. The underside of Turkey Tails will like small holes, which are actually tubes, while false turkey tail will be smooth or slightly wrinkled with no visible pores. False Turkey Tails are a type of  crust fungi. 2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2117 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

Here is yet another bracket fungi found on fallen coniferous wood. Postia fragilis is mostly white but will rapidly turn brown, like a bruise, when handled.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2121 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

This bright, but small jelly fungus can be spotted after heavy rains in any season. Orange Witches’ Butter, or Tremella mesenterica, is common and can be easily confused with Orange Jelly fungi. In dry periods these fungi become thin, shiny crusts, but after rain they absorb the water to become a jelly that actually has spores all over their surfaces.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2124 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

Many bracket fungi are only found on dead wood but these ones were found on a living tree, which at least helps to narrow down the species. 2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2128 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

Here’s some more Orange Witches’ Butter found farther along the trail.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2139 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

And another. larger patch of False Pixie Cup we spotted among the moss and licken on a fallen tree.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2151 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

I’m not quite sure what this is. If I had a close-up shot I might have seen the type of spores it had, it’s texture, etc. Just another reason why I should be taking more pictures of mushrooms I come across.2016-Algonquin-Park-Big-Pines-Trail-2174 Mushrooms and Fungi Abound Along Algonquin's Big Pines Trail

Many times you will come across areas on logs that have a variety of fungi, mushrooms, lichen and moss. The lichen in this shot appears to be Monk’s Hood Lichen, although it could be Waxpaper Lichen (also known as Cracked Lichen).

 

Sources:

Barron, George L. Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada. Edmonton: Lone Pine Pub., 1999. Print.

Thorn, Richard Gregory. Mushrooms of Algonquin Provincial Park. Whitney, Ont.: Published in Cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources by the Friends of Algonquin Park, 1991. Print.

 

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