Tag Archives: mushrooms

Where the newts live – Photo Wednesday

Above photo: hunting for newts in the pond, the photographer wore rubber boots…

There was a break in the rain. A little sunshine even… So I went for a walk in the forest, and headed for the pond.

Earth tongue mushroom trio. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On the path, I noticed some Black earth tongue mushrooms (Trichoglossum something…). Sorry about the fuzzy photo, forgot to bring a flash and it was very dark in the woods.


White worm coral mushroom. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And very close by, an old White worm coral mushroom (Clavaria vermicularis Sporocarp), which looked like it had been stepped on… Life is tough in the forest.

And then, at the pond, I enjoyed the quiet surface of the water.

A pond in the forest: newt habitat. Photo by Andrée Fredette
A forest pond = prime newt habitat.

Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Say hello to my little friend: Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa).  Here is a link with lots of information on this interesting salamander of the Pacific Northwest. Did you know that they have few predators because they are highly toxic?

There were a few in the water today, but the crowd will gather in a few weeks, when the sun warms up the water, for the big Spring Party. Reproduction involves a behaviour called “amplexus”, which – to the uninitiated – looks a lot like wrasslin’… Here is another link to inform the curious.

And to conclude this post, a slightly manipulated photo of the water that is quickly draining down the logging road, bending grasses as it goes, and creating a lovely abstract pattern in its wake.


Flow, abstract. Photo by Andrée Fredette


A walk in the woods: Lilliput world!

Above: one of the forests in which I wander, and its emerald carpet of mosses. A magical world…

Forest path, into the green. Photo by Andrée Fredette


I take a walk in the woods almost every day. These days, the air is moist, the ground is alive with mosses. And there are treasures everywhere!


Moss cushion in the sunlight, close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A moss cushion in the afternoon sun, enjoying its position on a very wet rock.

A drop, almost ready to fall off the moss. Photo by Andrée Fredette

That was a very wet spot, really. It was dripping in the late afternoon sun. I tried to capture a drop, about to fall off the moss, but not quite yet…


Moss close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: a moss close-up.  I have a new toy: a set of diopter filters (magnifier-like filters, in different strengths, and you can stack them to increase magnification). These are my first attempts are seeing how much of this mini-world I can get into focus.


Moss in bloom, January on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Blooming club moss, above.

And then, there are the lichens… A whole new lilliputian world has opened up, through my lens.

Cladonia pixie cup and other lichens on a log. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: on a log, an entire miniature habitat where competitors reach for the moisture and nutrients.  The tall ones are “pixie cup” Cladonia lichens, along with other lichens whose names are still a mystery to me, and some moss.  (Note: I found a great lichen reference page here. Please have a look, if you are intrigued by lichens.)


Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia) macro shot, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: macro shot of Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia) and its “warts”… With the diopter filters, the depth of field is so shallow that hand-held shots are a “no breathing allowed” moment…


Jelly tooth mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Once your eyes get used to the very diffuse light, you notice all kinds of details in the mosses. Above: a jelly tooth mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), and it is a very gelatinous thing. Almost glows in the dark, that tiny one!


 Bright orange mushroom, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

After the rains, there is a great deal of mushroom variety. Little ones, mostly. Like the orange guy above. Sorry, I have no idea about ID!

Coral mushroom (Clavulina) peeking out of the forest litter, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, in the darkest part of the forest, some coral mushrooms were peeking out of the forest litter. Maybe Clavulina cristata

Little grey cap mushrooms, all lined up for a dance. Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Delicate little “grey caps”, all lined-up for a dance.

Witches' Butter (Dacrymyces chrysospermus), a yellow jelly mushroom on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: Witches’ butter mushrooms (Dacrymyces chrysospermus) on a fallen log.

Tender Duo

And this lovely duo, basking in the afternoon light, in the clover…

To close this post, a shot of the seasonal creek that makes its way to the ocean, near my house…

Winter rains feed a seasonal creek on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Mushrooms on the trails

Beauty and variety. Those two terms sum up the fall mushroom crop on Saturna Island.

Shaggy Mane mushrooms in my garden. Photo by Andrée Fredette


The Shaggy mane (Coprinus comatus) first show up along the road sides and … in my garden, in October.


Fall mushrooms being born. Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Then, walks on the forest paths lead me to find a whole assortment of seasonal newcomers, like the little white ones above… Sorry, I have not a clue as to ID.


Fall mushroom on Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This ones looks similar, with intriguing texture.  I am getting better at close-up shots.


Mushroom popping up on dead alder. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, a new one starting to mature on a dead alder. Still all folded up, but promising to be a big one…


Flashy Fall Mushrooms on Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée FredetteAnd then there are the flashy ones, bright golden yellow little tiny ones, standing in the moss…


Tiny, tiny, ghostly mushrooms on the path, on Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And the Lilliputian mushrooms… really tiny, almost ghostly little ones standing in the fir needles.


Mushrooms on twigs, Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Then, on twigs, little “tutu” mushrooms.


Mushroom petticoat, revealed. Photo by Andrée Fredette


Another angle of the last little beauty, showing its underskirts. Lovely lines and texture.

And I close with the same shot as the header, a bejeweled mushroom about to open on a dead tree. Full regalia, rain diamonds.

Bejeweled mushroom. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Little Treasures in the Moss

Walks in the forest can be dark, around here. The trees are very tall, and they occupy the sky. Down below, little surprises are hiding.
Gold coral mushroom on an old stump. Photo © Andrée Fredette
The golden little “manos arriba!” mushroom, above, is probably a coral mushroom being born… on an old tree stump covered with moss. It was hard to miss, sunlight was caressing it in the middle of dark cedar and fir shade.
Mossy Treasure. Photo © Andrée Fredette

And this tiny white one (sorry, don’t know its name) was the one I saw because I had to bend down to tie a loose lace. There it was, next to the trail, a delicate and practically glowing treasure. Maybe 2 centimeters tall…

And then I turn my gaze up, and admire how tall the trees are around here. I am reminded of Terry Pratchett’s observation about the “race for the light”…

“There are no medium-sized trees in the deep forest. There are only the towering ones, whose canopy spreads across the sky.  Below, in the gloom, there’s light for nothing but mosses and ferns.  But when a giant falls, leaving a little space … then there’s a race — between the trees on either side, who want to spread out, and the seedlings below, who race to grow up.  Sometimes, you can make your own space.”
– Terry Pratchett, Small Gods 

Mushrooms, Viewed with a Filter

Winter on the West Coast… To say that this is a moist time of the year would be an understatement. Wherever you go, the forest presents evidence of moisture.

Mossy Forest Lines WL

After looking up, time to look down at my feet. Here is a very ordinary shot of tiny mushrooms, poking out of the mosses. A typical forest floor moment in the winter, on the BC Gulf Islands.


When I looked at this photo, I decided to play with some filters. See what would result.

Mushrooms and moss, BC Gulf Islands forest floor. Photo © Andrée Fredette

It got interesting. I could see the various colourways…

Mushrooms and moss, BC Gulf Islands forest floor. Photo © Andrée FredetteHow easy it would be to get fabric printed in contrasting colours, by playing with filters.

Mushrooms and moss, BC Gulf Islands forest floor. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Why not go for brutal brightness? Indeed.

Or just go for the black and white classic…