Ornamental Mushrooms

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Most mushrooms are "ornamental"...neither edible nor poisonous. Very few mushrooms are actually poisonous. Most of 'em are inedible and indigestible. Very few are delectable delicacies...most are peppery, acrid, slimy, hard, woody or a wide variety of other strange things. Most all mushrooms, however, seem to be quite pretty. This part of my fungi page is the largest.


These huge mushrooms were growing in the bare sandy soil in the volcanic region south of Mono Lake. They were completely dried out, but not shriveled at all. I did not pick them nor disturb them, so I have no idea what kind they are. Might have made good mushroom jerky.

This is a closeup of a "dentinum" mushroom, or a "tooth fungus". Note that it does not have radial gills, but instead has downward pointing teeth.
Closeup of the same mushroom. There is a higher resolution version of this image.

Black Elfin Saddle

The Elfin Saddle is a runner-up in the most ugly mushroom contest.

These are tiny little mushrooms growing on a leaf of tanoak. Illumination is from a 540EZ flash unit in my hand, connected to the camera by the various Canon flash cord gizmos. A macro lens with a flash can put some fun into a wet, dismal winter day.
Really small mushrooms, probably of the genus Mycena

More of the same species of mushroom. You can seem them growing out of the leaves better, but the exposure on the caps is washed out. That's one of the problems with mushroom photography. Often, the subject is very small, and whiter than the surrounding background. In such situations, I find that it's best to compensate the flash exposure down a stop or so.
An outcropping of Righteous Red Waxy Caps in a small clearing.
Red Waxy Caps
A closeup of the red waxy cap.

All photos Copyright © by Adam Lane. All rights reserved.