Magnificent Mushrooms!

Lactarius sp. (probably rubrilacteus). This was the only mushroom we were able to identify fairly conclusively.
Lactarius sp. (probably rubrilacteus). This was the only mushroom we were able to identify fairly conclusively. The latex of this mushroom was reddish in colour.

Yesterday we took a family walk around the Karst Creek Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. It’s a 1.2 km loop to a beautiful waterfall through an interesting karst, or limestone, landscape. Streams appear on the surface and then disappear back down underground into sink holes. In the fall, however, the highlight of the Karst Creek Trail is definitely mushrooms.

This LBM (Little Brown Mushroom) was quite common. We did a spore print and the spores were white.
This LBM (Little Brown Mushroom) was quite common. We did a spore print and the spores were white.

We saw many different kinds of LBMs (Little Brown Mushrooms) on our walk but weren’t able to identify them – with a 2+ year old and a 6 month old just completing the trail and squeezing in some time to take photographs was enough of a challenge!

The contrast between this yellow mushroom and the blackened Douglas Fir bark was quite striking. I don't think I captured it as well as I experienced it!
The contrast between this yellow mushroom and the blackened Douglas Fir bark was quite striking. I don't think I captured it as well as I experienced it!

In the summer the creek bed is dry since most of the water falling over the falls is channeled into a sink hole at the base of the waterfall. In the fall and winter there is enough water flowing that the creek is full from the waterfall right down to the trailhead. In the summer it is possible to do the entire loop. Yesterday we had to turn back at the point where the trail crosses the creek and retrace our route. Years ago BC Parks had a bridge at the crossing – it has been washed out and there appears to be no plan to replace it. Makes it challenging for seniors or families with small children to enjoy the trail.

This LBM was growing on rotten wood near the Lactarius.
This LBM was growing on rotten wood near the Lactarius.

Next time we head out I think I’ll collect a few of these difficult to identify mushrooms and try to sort them out at home. Taking a few spore prints will make that a little easier! Fortunately, I’m not really interested in eating them – I’m content to enjoy these magnificent mushrooms just as they are.

2 comments

  1. Thanks Susannah – the term LBM is from David Arora’s book Mushroom’s Demystified so I’m not going to take credit for creating it! If you don’t have a copy it’s well worth getting one. Hugely informative and very entertaining reading, a must have for any mushroom enthusiast. It’s definitely mushroom season out there and I’ve got a couple more posts with more photos coming up!

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