On Saturday October 3rd chilly weather greeted us for our second outing in two weeks on the Macnamara Trail. This time, we were looking for fungi with Jonathan Mack and Lynne Ovenden. Attendance on this outing was good and like most previous outings, the group split into two: One following Lynne along the main trail and the others following Jonathan who deviated along the Nopiming Loop for a short period.
While we certainly had enough moisture earlier in the week in the form of rain to prompt the growth of fungi, the cold prohibited some of the species that Jonathan and Lynne were expecting. Nonetheless, one group reported a respectable 24 species and the other group, 26 species. This, as one participant stated was impressive for such a “relatively short walk.” Toothed, gilled, cup fungi and ones with pores were all found. Chaga (used for tea and by early Indigenous people for carrying embers while travelling) was found both on Birch (expected) and on Ironwood (not expected). Turkey Tail fungi, Coral mushrooms, Golden Trumpet, Shaggy Mane, Pink Waxcap, Purple Toothed Polypore and Stubby Brittlegill are some of the interesting common names of fungi also seen.
Fungi can be very difficult to ID and only those who are expert at their ID should assume one to be edible. Even with yummy names like Orange Jelly or Lobster mushroom, don’t eat it unless you know what it is for certain. Their colour, texture, sliminess, size, overall shape, edge shape, whether they have gills (and if the gills go down the stem), teeth, pores or are smooth underneath the cap; whether they are found on wood (and what kind) or on the ground; whether the veil stays attached to the stem; whether they have a bulbous section below the earth; are all identification points. A mushroom which looks almost like one in the book may indeed be something very different.
To see more of these fungi from the outing on the wonderful trail maintained by your club. Please check out the photo section of this blog post for my few meager photos and a typed list of her group’s finds with page numbers referenced from “Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada” which participant, Linda Sewell has also kindly provided. Jonathan and Participant Mark Guzewski have many more photos as well.
Jonathan has posted his pictures on his iNaturalist account which is replete with many more observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/people/jonathan_mack (Macnamara Trail Oct 3)
Mark Guzewski has provided a link to his photos which Lynne and Jonathan have annotated with names: https://markguzewski.smugmug.com/Around-Ottawa/Macnamara-Trail-Mushrooms/ Be sure to look for the photobombing slug.
I can’t thank Jonathan and Lynne enough. I will let some of the participants’ words say why: “I love the leaders’ excitement over the tiniest, lovely pieces of nature.” and another who praised not only Jonathan’s, Lynne’s and other previous 2020 outing leaders’ “broad and deep knowledge” and their “willingness and enthusiasm”. We are truly lucky to have such knowledgeable and giving leaders including Jonathan and Lynne who are both new Club members. And thank you Participants. Your curiosity, knowledge (yes, you guys know bunches of stuff) and respectful attendance has certainly enriched the outings.
Again, if you are interested in helping with Trail maintenance, please don’t hesitate to let us know. One of the best ways to help is to use the trail regularly and report any problems to the Trail Coordinators Béatrice and Julian Romeskie.
Janet McCullough, MFNC Field Trip Coordinator