Wow, so sorry for the long lapse in posts. I’ve been experiencing a kind of dormancy much like in the mushroom world this time of the year in these parts of the states. But, I got to go on two Chinatown mushroom tours of Manhattan led by Gary Lincoff and have tried a few more kinds of mushrooms in the kitchen (and at the workplace!). Hello black trumpet crostini and blewitt cream pasta, hot damn! And I always relish the good ‘ole fashioned Asian veggie noodle soup with shitake mushrooms, this here Vietnamese style at Grand Bo Ki on Grand Street, which I feasted on after the Chinatown mushroom tour.
Asian veggie noodle soup with shiitake
So anyway, evidenced by my hat on the table (above photo), it was quite cold that day. Quite a contrast from the sunny 70 degree days we’ve been experiencing this week. But not too long ago it was pouring rain so hard it flooded parts of NJ. So does all this back and forth wet and warm weather mean that maybe, possibly, hopefully, some spring mushrooms are peeping? A quick look in the last few days says, yes!
Spring mushrooms in Brooklyn
Just a few blocks in a front yard on Crown Street and New York Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn were clusters of these in various stages of growth. Some details: brownish convex smooth cap, straight margin close gills, adnexed/attached gills with some ridges, spores golden brown, clustered growth on a grassy lawn, an almond peanutty scent, mild bitter taste, and a fibrillous hollow off-white stalk. After much time flipping through books, pouring through pictures, and attempts at keying out, I noticed a tiny bit of silk threads between the cap and the stem on a young specimen. I almost passed this right over, it was barely there, but this characteristic confirmed it as being in the genera Cortinarius. And that ladies and gentlemen, is as far as I took it.
Cortinarius genera mushrooms
Cortinarius is considered the largest genera of mushrooms of over a thousand species, all producing brown spores. My books give some examples of Cortinarius species but obviously they don’t contain all of them. The emergence of these in early April should distinguish them further, but not with the books I had in hand and not without expert help. When I went back to look at them a few days later, sure enough the remnant of a veil covering immature gills shows itself as cobwebby silky threads that were much more apparent looking at more of them in the field.
Cortinarius cobwebs are sometimes hard to notice but a key characteristic of this genera
Veil covering immature gills of the Cortinarius
Cobwebby veil remnant of a young Cortinarius
So that was my lesson learned about the Cortinarius.
Another spring species, my friend the Coprinus micaceus, in Prospect Park today in various stages of deliquescence.
Cluster of Coprinus micaceus, Prospect Park
Cluster of Coprinus micaceus deliquescing, Prospect Park
And more mystery mushrooms to come…
Mycelium, Prospect Park
Little mystery mushroom, Mount Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Another little mystery mushroom, Mount Prospect Park, Brooklyn
I am going to be posting these finds to the Networked Organisms and Habitats mapping database. Join in and upload pictures of what you find wherever you are. And as always, stay tuned to this blog and thank you very much for visiting!
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