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A Dry Spell For Mycophiles

Magpie Mushroom (1/8/21) Gabriel Leete

While most Californians are enjoying this winter’s warm, sunny days, mycophile Gabriel Leete is out wandering the woods in disappointment as he dejectedly walks past the ink caps of Coprinopsis picacea, commonly called the Magpie Mushroom in Anderson. Normally, a wet winter causes all sorts of mushrooms to push up. So far, it’s been “fairly slow.”

Few mushrooms at lower elevations have appeared, and at higher elevations, freezing temperatures have retarded their development.

Redlead Roundhead (1/8/21) Gabriel Leete

In his wanderings, Gabriel found a large colony of Leratiomyces ceres commonly known as the Redlead Roundhead pushing up from shredded bark.

Parasola conopilus (1/8/21) Gabriel Leete

Gabriel sent images of Parasola conopilus (formerly called Psathyrella conopilus) and made the point that they soon will be known as Parasola conopilea.

It seems the mushroom was misidentified as a Psathyrella species, when under the microscope mycologists found it to be a Parasola. Then, an error in Latin agreement got the second half of its name corrected from conopilus to conopilea.

That seems too great an amount of attention and revelation for so common a brown mushroom. Parasola conopilea number from the hundreds to the thousands when they are flourishing. Unfortunately, such scenes are infrequent in this dry winter. 

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