09.13.2015 Sunday ‘shroom

Sounds like a regular thing, but probably not.  However, it is Sunday and it is a mushroom although not at all toadstool-like.

After shooting the fog in New Salem yesterday morning, I walked the Norwottuck Railtrail in Amherst and found these-the Striate Bird’s Nest fungus (Cyathus striatus), one of several bird’s nest fungi which you will most likely find grouped with puffballs and earthstars in a field guide.

Striate-Bird's-Nest-Fungus-2-091215-700Web Striate-Bird's-Nest-Fungus-3-091215-700WebAs you can see, they start as capped fruiting bodies.  When they age, the top crumbles away revealing the “nest of eggs”.  These are splash cups and, when a rain drop lands square on, the “eggs” which contain the spores are splashed, or ejected, out of the cups.  They have a sticky strand which often catches on a twig or other perch.    One way the spores are spread is by being eaten and then defecated out similar to some flower seeds.

For comparison, here is an old image of a White-egg Bird’s Nest showing all three stages.  The capped fungus sort of looks like a small mushroom pot pie.

White-egg Bird's Nest Fungii 3 Stages resized

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Fungi, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 09.13.2015 Sunday ‘shroom

  1. makingcamp says:

    Fascinating. I’ve never seen these. Thanks for sharing the pics and info.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim in IA says:

    Really interesting fungi. There’s no end to nature’s creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fascinating photos and information, I always enjoy learning more about the world I inhabit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That second picture reminds me of oysters. I’m with makingcamp in never having seen these before.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting pics and the last one is a winner- looks like a nest filled with eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    You’re right about the pie-like one in the last photo, although I saw it as a little, sweet tart rather than a pot pie. I’ve never seen these, and they’re just amazing. What gets me isn’t just their resemblance to a bird’s nest, but that splash business is remarkable. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of rain helping to spread spores. Of course, what I knew about mushrooms and such was almost non-existent until I started reading your entries!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The world of fungi, and mushrooms in particular, is fascinating and full of amazing stories. The same goes for insects. Evolution has manifested mind-boggling strategies for survival of the species.


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