Mushroom Hunting in York Region Forest, Southern Ontario Greenbelt

I went for a lunchtime hike in a forest tract near my work, just a quick drive north recently. I found a bazillion mushrooms and fungi. My succinct and colourful report is below:

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
But it starts badly - this specimen is officially driving me crazy. I can't figure out what it is. It is gilled. It appears to have a shaggy cap. I initially suspected genus Pleurotus, but I think not. Can someone help please? In fact, any help I can get with the many 'unknown specimens' listed below would be much appreciated.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen. Don't worry. It gets better.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen. No really. You'll start seeing names.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen. Honestly. Just bear with me.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
The woods. Part of the hundreds of forested acres in which I tramped and bumbled about.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Honey Mushroom (Armillaria gallica), a parasitic fungus that will eventually kill the living trees that make up their hosts.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
A game trail that I found leading through the woods.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Black Knot (Dibotryon morbosum).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Wolf's Milk or Toothpaste Slime (Lycogala epidendrum).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
The woods.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Tree with grape vine coil imprints.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Appalachian Chanterelle (Cantharellus appalachiensis). Edible.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Appalachian Chanterelle (Cantharellus appalachiensis). Yum.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Velvet Foot, also known as Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Remains of a crow. Not edible.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Old stone wall - I found some rusted metal sheets protruding from under the soil - perhaps an old homestead or farm building.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Depressed region in woods - possibly an old building was once here.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Dead Man's Fingers.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen- I really want to know what this is though!

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides).
"Native Americans used various preparations of the root of Caulophyllum thalictroides medicinally to treat rheumatism, toothaches, profuse menstruation, indigestion and stomach cramps, fits and hysterics, genito-urinary disfunction, gallstones, and fever, as an aid in childbirth, and as a general tonic (D. E. Moermann 1986)."
York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen. Looks like a Boletus of some kind - nice shape! Anyone know what this is?

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Wolf's Milk or Toothpaste Slime (Lycogala epidendrum). While most of these are bright yellow, or orange, as they age they will turn deep grey or brown or black.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen. Gilled. Small.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle). You can see the size of it relative to the pine needles.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle). Edible when white like this, just fry it up in some butter with pepper and salt.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
I believe this is a Silky Pinkgill (Entoloma sericeum). I would appreciate it if anyone could confirm this for me - I'm not very certain. Cute little umbonate top.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Here I am about to flick a Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle) to demonstrate how a spore cloud will be emitted from the hole at the top of the fungus, to spread the spores for reproductive purposes. Well, actually I'm just doing it for fun, but call it what you will. The spores can be used in an emergency as a wound clotter (anticoagulant).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Flicked Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle) showing the resultant spore cloud.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Honey Mushroom (Armillaria gallica), a parasitic fungus that will eventually kill their living tree hosts. How rude and boorish.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Again, Dead Man's Fingers fungus, so named because they look like the mummified fingers of a corpse sticking out from the ground of the cemetery. Charming. Not edible. Thankfully.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Pear-Shaped puffball (Morganella pyriformis) - some may be pear-shaped as the name suggests, but often are spherical. These are mature and dry - the spore mass within completely dried, brown and powdered (or wet and sodden due to the wetness of the ground).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Here is a view of a forest regeneration area again.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Bumblebee on Azure Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Chicken Fat Mushroom or American Slipperycap (Suillus americanus). Edible.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Chicken Fat Mushroom or American Slipperycap (Suillus americanus).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Milkweed pods.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Chicken Fat Mushroom or American Slipperycap (Suillus americanus). Closeup of the pores underneath the cap.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
I believe this is a member of the genus Inocybe - the Fibrecap. Many are poisonous and at least one is deadly. Note the umbonate cap (conical, or bump on the top). Can't confirm the specimen though.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Same one as above, but flipped over. I believe this is a member of the genus Inocybe - the Fibrecap. This is a gilled mushroom - hence the gills.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Chicken Fat Mushroom or American Slipperycap (Suillus americanus). When wet, they get slippery or gelatinous on top - hence the name Slipperycap.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Chicken Fat Mushroom or American Slipperycap (Suillus americanus). Younger specimens are lighter yellow, and as they age, they become brown.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Delightful closeup of deer scat (poop). Poopus Deerus.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Milkweed pods. You can boil or fry up the immature seed pods and eat them.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Chicken Fat Mushroom or American Slipperycap (Suillus americanus). With my Swiss Army Knife for scale.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Stalks of the second year growth of the Great or Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus). These biennial plants will form the rosette flower the first year, and the stem emerges on the second year. With Mullein, you can eat the root in the first year, but it loses starches and gets quite fibrous in the second year. You can use the stalks in this stage as fire-drills to make fire.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Milkweed pods and seeds. Carl Linnaeus named the genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the many folk-medicinal uses for the milkweed plants.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Bumblebee on Azure Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense).

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Forest regeneration region, dotted with young conifers.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Pine woods amongst mixed deciduous trees. Deciduous means that the leaves are shed by means of a thin region of cells that are programmed to die in the late fall, triggered by temperature and/or light changes. Once this thin region dies, the leaf becomes unstable and falls off at the division point. Conifer leaves (needles) do not do this fancy trick. Clever conifers.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Mungo. Growing back his goatee and needing a haircut. But otherwise looking rather dashing.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Mungo with fancy spinning background. He will not reveal his secret to this photograph, other than a tiny hint: He took it while spinning around, and looking deeply into the camera lens.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Unknown specimen, unlike the fellow above this photo.

York Region Forest - Southern Ontario Greenbelt - Mushroom Hunting
Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle).

Okay. That's it. Lots of fungus for you to digest. Except for the poisonous specimens. Hope you've enjoyed the trip - please leave comments below if you feel so inclined.

Cheers,

Mungo

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