On Sunday May 9th we held a fungi foray starting at Bulga Park. The conditions were favourable and we had a great turn out with 30 people signed up and ready to go at 9.30am. After an introductory presentation we set off for a very slow loop down to the suspension bridge, returning via the Fern Gully and Link Tracks. Understandably some families with small children and others with Mother’s day lunch commitments dropped out along the way, but even on a short walk they would have experienced a wide variety of fungi displaying their spore bodies.
It has been a big job documenting the finds, between my daugher and I we have added over 170 sightings to iNaturalist for the day https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/tarra-bulga-national-park This includes sightings from the Tarra Valley (I couldn’t resist checking out what fungi could be seen there as I was going past on my way home). Overall the total species recorded to date is 68! I wonder if anyone that attended has got photos of species that we missed? Anyway enjoy the gallery below which contains some examples of the variety of fungi seen on the day.
Seems like not only plants and animals can be invasive. Yesterday, while walking along Forest Track, I spotted an unusual Fungi fruiting on a fallen log. It was a vivid orange colour and seemed to have an unusual pore arrangement on the underside. After snapping a few photos, I headed home to consult the field guides. Seeing nothing really to match, I uploaded the photo to http://www.Bowerbird.org.au where a subscriber there quickly identified it as an exotic species, Favolaschia calocera otherwise known as Orange Pore Fungi.
This Fungi apparently is a recent arrival to Australia the first record of it is from 2005. It was first observed in Madagascar and has recently spread to a number of countries across the globe. According to Wikipedia it colonises ruderal sites (Wastelands/Roadsides) where it can become the dominate species. Fingers crossed it does not become a dominate feature of our not so ruderal forests. Not sure how you can weed out or control a pest fungi.
We had our annual “Maple Pull” at a site along the Tarra Valley Rd yesterday. The fact that we had only a small crew turnout was OK because thanks to our consistent efforts we have got to the point where the task is mainly a search mission, when we first started out we were pulling hundreds of seedlings. Yesterday after tramping around the area we managed to find and either hand pull or cut and paint forty seven young Sycamore Maple, as well as prising out some Blackberry seedlings and the odd stray bit of Ivy. The Maple is being controlled, but we still have issues with Tutsan at this site, and that will be a future war, that we may one day have the energy to take on but it will be much harder to win.
While wandering around in search of Maple it was a good chance marvel at the fresh new Fungi blooms. They are a real feature at this time of the year and thanks to consistent rain to date in Autumn, it should be a bumper season for Fungi spotters. After the work, we looked after the workers (a tradition at Friends of Tarra-Bulga) and headed down to the Fernholme Caravan Park where David provided us with toasties, hot coffee and freshly baked banana cake. We were joined at the table by a Lewin’s Honeyeater. A great way to refresh after spending the morning out in the dripping wet forest.
This time of the year (Late Autumn) is the best time for seeing the interesting array of Fungi present in Tarra Bulga National Park. A diversity of fungi species (in addition to the towering trees and lush ferns and mosses and the wildlife) make a visit well worth the effort.
Most of the photos shown in the gallery below were taken in two recent strolls around the Rainforest walks at both Bulga Park and the Tarra Valley, with the latter site having the most fungi on show. Tarra Valley has had a long history of being an interesting destination for fungi observation, Back In the 1950’s, Kara Healey (Victoria’s first female ranger) collected around 160 species of fungi from the Park area, two previously un-described species she collected were even named in her honor.
Fungi Map are holding their 7th Biennial iNational Conference in Gippsland later this month and the participants are spending a full day at the Park on Monday May 21st. More information can be found via this link. https://www.fungimap.org.au/index.php/fungimap7fullproginfo Maybe you can go along and learn a few things and then be able to assist us with identifying some of the species feature in this gallery!