My post of two days ago, which talked about finding two mystery mushrooms in my front yard and how someone had thoughtlessly kicked them over, brought several helpful responses from mushroominators.
Writes Fred Weber:
Writes fellow blogger Tom Burr:
Sorry to hear that someone has sabotaged your sporophores (applied a foot to your fungi).
After doing extensive research flipping through the color plates in "Field Guide to the Mushrooms") I came up almost empty with regard to identification.
So much of mushroom ID depends on seeing the thing at different stages, examining the gills (or pores) under the cap, the annulus (ring) around the stem, even the spores.
Did your 'shrooms always have that color combination (white cap, dark stem)? Sometimes a moldy down will grow on the cap, disguising the true color.
Are those patches of tissue I see on the cap? Makes me think of an Amanita of some sort.
I like your description of mushrooms as an "underground plant cult," for that is really what they are.
The mushroom that emerges above ground is just a fruiting body that produces spores for reproduction, analogous to the flower of a flowering plant.