Shroomin Time – January  2021

Welcome to the first Let’s Go Shroomin!   During the wet season, I will provide a number of blogs to keep you upto date with all the latest sightings on the Let’s Go Shroomin Tours.

It was a gradual start to the season with only a few drops of rain during October and November that wasn’t quite enough to really fire up the mycelium and get things fruiting.  But once the rains hit in December it was mushroom mania!

Some of the sweetest little mushrooms around and the species that really started my learning journey of fungi discovery in Tropical North Queensland are the delightful Marasmius species.  I first saw these in the garden beds in my backyard, and have since discovered a few little hidden nooks where these pop up in abundance.   Even though they are tiny and look quite fragile, their stem is rather robust.

pink mushroom cluster mushroom tour blog

Marasmius haematocephalus

Coral Fungi was popping up in small formations in many areas of the gardens.  It’s great to see this incredible ‘coral-like’ lifeform…and proves you don’t need to go to the Great Barrier Reef to see coral (heehee).

Of course the onset of the rainy season always comes with a bit of a stinkyness.  Not only the heat and the fermenting mangoes, but the pong of the Stinkhorn mushrooms.  The Beauty and the Beast of mushrooms… Phallus multicolor, indusiatis, rubicundis were all to be seen and smelt in abundance.

From L to R: Phallus indusiatis, Phallus multicolor, Phallus rubicundis

Some fungi that goes unnoticed is this very tiny Bird’s Nest Fungi.  Often blanketing the garden floors like a knobby carpet.  I’ve sometimes seen this species in such huge numbers being the dominant ground covering in a 4m squared area.  Like the name suggests, this Fungi has evolved to create a ‘nest’ for the spores to sit in, looking like a birds nest with eggs.  When rains fall, the droplets bounce the spores out of the nest to be dispersed and the cycle of regeneration begins.

L to R: A huge Bird’s Nest Fungi cluster.  Another cluster in the first stages with a cap on.  Later stages, the cap is gone and the spores are exposed.

I’m very happy to announce that on February 7th, I will co-lead our Mushroom Photography Tour – Let’s Go Shroomin with Barry Muir, our local Mycologist.  Barry is a widely travelled and published ecologist and university lecturer who consulted to all levels of government and to private industry before retiring to Cairns.  Barry specialises in the interactions between weather, geology, soils, plants, animals and fungi and since retirement has directed his interest towards the role of fungi in the environment and in environmental education.

He will be taking some photos but may also be collecting some samples for the Queensland Herbarium and talking about the science of mycology and information about the species we find.  Please Book for this tour as space is limited.  Book here:

Barry Muir Cairns Mycologist

Bridgette uses Olympus OMD EM1 ii, 60mm M.Zuiko lens and CygnusTech Diffuser.