Miracle Beach part 1: Fungi

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on November 13. Click a photo to enlarge it.

We saw a wealth of things at Miracle Beach Park on November 7. Here’s Part 1, the fungi (mosses are coming up later). One of the most fun was Bondarzew’s polypore—as we circled an old snag they progressed from small to large! Thankfully, Alison & Loys were along to help out with identification.

  1. Bondarzew’s polypore (Bondarzewia occidentalis)
  1. Jelly rot/trembling phlebia (Merulius tremellosus)
  1. Orange chrysomphalina (Chrysomphalina aurantiaca)
  1. Sulfur tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare)
  1. Northern red belt (Fomitopsis mounceae)
  1. Turkey tail (Tremetes versicolor)
  1. Dyer’s polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii)
  1. Veiled polypore (Cryptoporus volvatus)
  1. Circling a snag to look at Bondarzewia
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Magical fungi!

From an email by Jocie distributed to the Botany Group on November 12. Click a photo to enlarge it.

Some fungi are appearing, though so scarce compared to a “typical year”—whatever that is! Here are a few photos sent in by Douglas P. and Kim D.

  1. The classic fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) from Douglas’s yard in east Courtenay. One of the most iconic mushrooms, with good reason!
  1. Rounded earth stars (Geastrum saccatum). This is truly one of the strangest fungi around…it looks like a miniature plastic rocket launcher. Kim found these on a walk to the Morrison Creek Headwaters with the CV Land Trust. We’ll explore this area with the botany group sometime.
  1. The fir-cone mushroom (Strobilurus trullisatus) is turning up everywhere right now, look out for it on Douglas-fir cones.
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Fungi from Strathcona Park

This report by Alison M. was distributed to the Botany Group by Jocie on November 5. Click a photo to enlarge it.

In the last week of October we have been into three locations in the Park in the hopes that the recent rains have awakened the fruiting bodies of some fungi—Mckenzie Lake and Meadows on the 23rd (on Sunday to avoid the logging operations along Murex Main), Divers Lake on the 26th (where the gate was open!!) and Elk River Trail on the 28th.

There has been enough moisture, especially on the trails along Highway 28 that benefit from the weather coming in from the west coast inlets. However, not a single chanterelle—their look-alikes yes, namely the ubiquitous wooly pine spike Chroogomphus tomentosus (photo 1) and false chanterelle Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, golden on the cap, bright orange on the underside (photo 2), and also the scaly chanterelle Turbinellus floccosus (photo 3).

We did find the unusual so-called blue/black chanterelle—Polyozellus atrolazulinus—on the ERT, a little past its best, with some hypomyces, but the general form and the veining on the underside are still clear. (photos 4 & 5).

On all the trails, clusters of the honey mushroom Armillaria mellea group were prolific. Most of the examples would be Armillaria ostoyae that parasitizes conifers ( photos 6, 7, 8)—the clusters of large shroom with obvious veil ring, scaly on top can be a whole range of browns. The spore print is white as can bee seen in photo 8.

Apart from the Polyozellus on the ERT, stunning was the Stropharia aeruginosa (iNat gives verdigris agaric as the common name), which when young has a cap like blue porcelain (photos 9 and 10). Distinctive features of the Stropharia genus include the very wooly surface of the stipe, and when the cap opens some of the wooly particles cling to the rim of the cap in a fringe.

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Learn about the impacts of salmon farms on wild salmon

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host the following free lecture at our November online meeting:

Title: What we need to do to rescue wild salmon from further decline
Speaker: Alexandra Morton
Date: Sunday, November 20, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT

This webinar is facilitated by the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and is open to the public (see the registration link below).

Alexandra Morton will provide a brief overview of the impact of marine salmon farms on wild salmon, the current state of the salmon farming industry, and the powerful new science being used to understand what we need to do to rescue wild salmon from further decline.

About the speaker

Alexandra Morton settled in a remote archipelago on the BC coast in 1984 to conduct a long term study of the vocalizations of orca. When it became clear that the industrial salmon farms flooding into the area were harming the whales and the wild salmon that the whales depended on, she began a 35-year effort to convince government to halt the damage they were encouraging.

She published dozens of scientific papers on the impact, built a research station, filed five lawsuits and never lost, and then occupied the farms with First Nations for 280 days. This finally began the process of removing the farms from the archipelago and increasing the numbers of wild salmon. Morton continues trying to protect the rest of the coast by bringing the evidence of cover-up and the impact of industrial salmon farming on wild salmon to the politicians regulating the industry.


“Seating capacity” for the talk is limited, and you need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.

Although CVN lectures are free, donations of any size from non-members who attend are always appreciated ($4.00 is suggested).

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