In my experience, March is usually the best time of the year for Shroomin, but with the decrease in regular rain this month and with some hot weeks, it hasn’t been the best few weeks for a variety of mushrooms. Luckily this last week has delivered some much-needed rains and some cooler temperatures, so the next few weeks are looking promising for a Cairns Mushroom Tour.
Luckily there has been enough to see to make the Let’s Go Shroomin Tours worthwhile and it’s been fantastic to share my love of mushrooms and photography with some like-minded people. The next few weeks will likely see the end of the tours until the rains kick in again in December.
I have however been taking a few little excursions to a few different places to see if I could potentially run some special Shroomin Tours during next season. I’ve been able to see a few unusual species on these excursions. Including this gorgeous scene on a private Kuranda property. In the family of slime moulds called Tubifera, but the exact species is unknown. They remind me of some African Trees I’ve seen in some documentaries. Each clump is only about 4mm tall.
One exciting sighting thanks very much to one of Cairns most enthusiastic shroomers…Simone, advised me where to find some fresh Podostroma cornu-damae, which is an extremely poisonous mushroom. This fungi has been seen in various areas around my local area for years, but has recently been getting quite a bit of publicity. Also known as a ‘brain shrinking fungi’, thanks to some attention-grabbing headlines, I saw it for the first time last season, however, these fruiting bodies were much more impressive and very advanced. I decided to invite local Mycologist Barry Muir along to view the specimens and he decided to collect some samples of it to be studied at the Queensland Herbarium. If you ever see this mushroom, please avoid touching it as it can cause some skin problems. These mushrooms are known to be fatal if consumed so best to avoid if you see them.
L to R: Taking photos of the fruiting bodies, Mycologist Barry Muir collecting samples for the Queensland Herbarium
I’ve also found this incredible scene of two different slime moulds right next to one another. I love this combination of smooth yellow substance and the pattern it has formed with the tiny tree-like red formations. These are only about 3mm tall!
Two different species of Slime moulds
Another very cool little species are these gorgeous cup fungi called Cookeina. I’ve been seeing a lot of them this year which is really exciting. This amazing cluster was in one of my go-to spots. The largest cup is about 2 cm across or almost an inch.