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Mushrooms in Michigan

Updated on November 10, 2011
Robin Anderson profile image

Robin has been blogging since 2011. She currently lives in St. Augustine, Florida where she is also a Designer and Photographer.

Robin Anderson Photography

Looking for new subject matter to photograph can be challenging. Sometimes going to new places is not always possible, so I have learned to go to some of the same old places and look for new subject matter there. That is how I stumbled upon photographing mushrooms and identification of them.

The mushroom that got the ball rolling for me was this little beauty... my daughter came home and showed me a photo that she had taken with her iPod... I was excited because I thought she had discovered the coveted and illusive Morel mushroom. Morels sell for $199 per pound! So, I had her take me back to where she found it.

To my surprise the first thing that I noticed was the smell. I thought to myself, how can people pay so much for something that smells so bad. I went home and started researching mushrooms on the internet... I discovered a wonderful site for identifying mushrooms: http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/

It turns out that what my daughter found is called Phallus Impudicus, also known as stinkhorn. It is inedible, but not poisonous. What is the difference you may be asking... my research tells me that it doesn't taste good, but it won't kill you, (I disagree). It smelled so bad, I was sick to my stomach for hours after being around them. I could smell them in the air from a block away. Here is an exerpt from Rogers Mushroom Identification site:

  • Phallus Impudicus is bell-shaped with the head covered by a meshwork of raised ribs covered in dark olive slime which contains the spores. This slime has a strong sickly offensive smell which attracts flies from large distances, the slime sticks to the legs of the flies and thus acts as a means of spore dispersal. The egg stage, which lacks the disgusting smell, is edible though not tasty; it is said to be an aphrodisiac presumably through the association with its phallic shape.

Phallus Impudicus

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS, focal length 6.2mm, f 2.8, 1/125, ISO 80  10/14/11-255-R
Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS, focal length 6.2mm, f 2.8, 1/125, ISO 80 10/14/11-255-R | Source

The next mushroom that I found was on the opposite end of the spectrum of mushrooms. It is small, cute, and dangerous. Unlike Phallus impudicus, this mushroom contains toxins. It is called Inocybe grammata and grows on wood. It is fascinating how something so cute can be so dangerous. According to Rogers Mushroom Identification web site:

  • Uncommon. Not edible like most Inocybes it has been found to contain toxins. Distribution, America and Europe.

Inocybe grammata

Canon EOS 50D 18-135mm lens, focal length 113mm, f 5.6, 1/125, ISO 2000  10/15/11-256-R
Canon EOS 50D 18-135mm lens, focal length 113mm, f 5.6, 1/125, ISO 2000 10/15/11-256-R | Source

This next mushroom really stood out while I was on a walk through the woods searching for new photographs. The bright orange color was very striking. It is called Amanita frostiana. There seems to be a correlation between beauty and danger. Here is what Rogers Mushroom Identification site has to say about it.

  • Rare. Found in eastern North America. Season August. Not edible avoid many Amanitas contain toxins some deadly.

Since we are in Michigan and the month is October, that would make this an extra rare find.

Amanita frostiana

Canon EOS 50D 18-135mm lens, focal length 57mm, f 5.6, 1/30, ISO 320  10/16/11-R
Canon EOS 50D 18-135mm lens, focal length 57mm, f 5.6, 1/30, ISO 320 10/16/11-R | Source

This is the last mushroom in this series. It is Pleurotus ostreatus. This one is common and here is what Roger's Mushroom Identification site says about it.

  • large clusters on stumps and fallen or standing trunks, usually of deciduous trees, especially beech. Season all year. Common. Edible and good. Distribution, America and Europe.

This has been so fun hunting for mushrooms with my camera. I can honestly say that I never would have thought it could be so much fun. From my reading I have learned that Morels can be found in the Spring. Who would have thought that hunting Morel mushrooms would become one of my bucket list items?


Pleurotus ostreatus

Canon EOS 50D 18-135mm lens, focal length 72mm, f 5.6, 1/125, ISO 320  10/18/11-259-R
Canon EOS 50D 18-135mm lens, focal length 72mm, f 5.6, 1/125, ISO 320 10/18/11-259-R | Source

Enjoy some of the other mushrooms...

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    • Robin Anderson profile image
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      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks Stephanie -- I walked around smiling all day!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! I seem to have missed it when it was first posted (don't know how that happened!), but this is a great hub and the accolade is well-deserved!

    • Rosalie21 profile image

      Rosalie21 5 years ago from Mauritius

      Nice pictures; i love mushrooms, beautiful and interesting hub :D

    • Robin Anderson profile image
      Author

      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for all the accolades!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Well desrved!

      Most interesting, and great photos. Voted up, interesting, useful and beautiful.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      Like your photos and explanations and share in your delight in finding those 'hidden prizes'. Seems the little Inocybe grammata is familiar and I am thankful to learn they should be left alone. Your hobby sounds like an exciting relaxation and am glad you shared it with us.

      Glad to meet you on HubPages!

    • profile image

      arusho 5 years ago

      good hub, look forward to reading more.

    • Robin Anderson profile image
      Author

      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks Nicky -- I love this community! I am so happy to have found it. I look forward to sharing and reading more and more on here!

    • Nicky Page profile image

      Nicky Page 5 years ago from Indiana

      Hi Robin! Nice captures you have here. I enjoy mushroom hunting and found this hub very interesting. Welcome to Hubpages!

    • em_saenz profile image

      em_saenz 5 years ago from Europe

      exellent hub

    • Robin Anderson profile image
      Author

      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks Simone!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      How cool!!! Your photos are gorgeous, Robin!!

    • Robin Anderson profile image
      Author

      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks Stephanie!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Well done hub! Your detailed descriptions and clear, original photographs could very well be used as a guide for mushroom hunters! Welcome to HubPages!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      These pics are beautiful. I followed you over from Leah Lefler's mushroom hub. Since I am also from Michigan, I thought I'd check out what I might find in our local woods! My uncle knows of a spot where morels grow but he will not tell a soul, not even his family! Thankfully I am NOT a mushroom lover. :) Welcome to Hubpages!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      I just love the image of Amanita frostiana, such a lovely color! Even the things that can make us cringe can be seen as beautiful from right perspective. Nice job. And WELCOME to HubPages Robin!

      Cheers~

      K9