“Foto Finds” – January Mushroom Hike in Ohiopyle State Park

I was driving through the Laurel Highlands and naturally had to stop for a short hike at Ohiopyle State Park. With over 20,000 acres of land, it is hard to only hike for a short time. There is so much to see, from whitewater and waterfalls to rhododendron forests surrounded by an equally interesting and diverse group of plants, animals and mushrooms.

My goal for this hike was to add some new photos to my galleries and possibly document a mushroom species that I have not found yet. There are many colorful mushrooms in Western Pennsylvania, even in the winter months, but this time I was searching for a specific blue-green colored mushroom that I have never documented before. Its scientific name is Chlorociboria aeruginascens and its common name, “the green stain fungus,” describes its most common identifying characteristic. Italian woodworkers during the Renaissance era used this fungus to add color to their inlay wood designs. More information can be found on Tom Volk’s website. After about one hour of searching, I was able to find it on a log near the river.

It is also referred to as “the green elfcup” for its elusive blue-green fruiting body. Unfortunately, the mushroom was not fruiting, so I will have to come back to this particular log in the summer and fall season to try to fully document this species. At least I was able to document another “new to me” mushroom.

Soon after finding this species, I found another species of mushroom that I had never documented before. This species is called Leucogloea compressa. There is very little information about this tiny mushroom when you search online. I will have to try to find someone who knows more about it.

My mushroom hike was a successful hike! I was able to add two mushrooms to my galleries that I had never documented before and I was also able photograph around 15 of the more common Western Pennsylvania winter mushrooms species (some are pictured below) including the bioluminescent Panellus stipticus. I look forward to adding spring, summer and fall photos from Ohiopyle in the future.

 

 

 

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