Making the best of lockdown

An advantage of not going into the office each day is recreational walking. I am lucky that I live close to some original bush remnants and areas of regenerating bush. In my case the two I bog about frequently are Otari-Wilton’s Bush and the Wellington Botanic Garden. Being at home means that most lunchtimes I can go to Otari and look and see what is new or to make serial observations of a specific mushroom. In this case, over the last eleven days I have been watching the development of a Gandalf’s flycap (Amanita sp.2 = Saproamanita sp.).

I think that almost all the observations of Gandalf’s flycap, either my own or other peoples’, have been of mature open caps. I don’t think I have ever seen young developing mushrooms. Until last week when I saw these oddly shaped fungi growing in a wood mulched garden. I suspected Gandalf’s flycap but decided to wait and watch. What follows is daily photos over eleven days.

14 April 2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

15 April 2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

16 April 2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

17 April 2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

18 April 2020 – I collected the small mushroom (right back) see the photos at the end of blog

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

19 April 2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

20 April 2020 – at this stage it is about 25cm high

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Looking under the cap the ring (all that fluffy stuff covering the gills) is just starting to rupture at the cap margin

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

21.04.2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Compared to yesterday the ring has pulled away from the stem and forms large fragment hanging from the edge of the cap

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

22.04.2020

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

The cap has expanded further since yesterday and the ring fragments are further reduced

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

24.04.2020 – This is the last day of observation and the cap is fully expanded – about 25 cm across

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

I collected I young fruit body 18.04.2020 (see above) and bisected it

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Note the tissue between the gills and the stem (the ring) and watch what happens to it in the photos above as it expands and tears apart

Saproamanita sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]