Kingdom: Fungi, Phylum: Basidiomycota

We just finished Module 4 in Exploring Creation with Biology.   For this module the students were to take a long walk and collect various mushrooms.  Since it rained heavily the night before class time, we ended up with very little specimens.

I like to participate in the labs, so I went out walking in the rain with my daughter.  We found a bunch of beautiful specimens and one of them was a huge cluster of orange mushrooms.  I carefully placed the specimens on a tray and left them in the garage.  The next morning, I found the big beautiful cluster of mushrooms in a nasty gooey mess, covered in worms.  It was gross!  I did not take a picture.  Things covered in little white worms will not be photographed at the Applie’s home.  I have my limits, you know.

The photo below is a collection of mushrooms I got on a different walk.  You can see that the shrooms are not fully opened.  The button is what comes up through the ground just before it fills with water and opens into the caps you see above the ground.


Here is what it looks like while still in the ground.

Just before the cap opens.

This mushrooms is part of a Fairy Ring.  It shows up in my neighbor’s yard a couple times a year, since 2007, and each time it does get bigger.  The rings are formed with the mycelium in the center has used all the food source in the soil and dies out.  The new hyphae spread out to obtain more nutirents.

We had trouble finding Basidiospores, which on the mushroom’s spores in the basidia. Click here to see some photos on-line.

You can also see photos of the ones I took during last year’s Biology class.

Now let’s get to a fun activity.  Make a mushroom print.

Find a large specimen, with the cap fully open.  Cut off the stipe and place the cap with the gills down on a colored construction paper.

Cover the cap with a bowl and let it sit for 24 hours.

The next day carefully take off the bowl.

A print of the gills.  Pretty cool!  This would a be great time to scrape some of this off and look at it under a microscope.  I would have done that, but I didn’t have my microscopes with me at the time.  😦    It’s too bad you can’t keep these.



11 responses to “Shrooms!

  1. Well, I’ve never tried this, but I just read the other day that after you let the paper dry, you could cover the spore print with contact paper.
    Not sure if they would do well that way?
    Or how difficult it would be to get the contact paper on correctly. Obviously, you’d only have one shot at it.

  2. I’m thinking it might smear, too.
    Maybe I’ll try it on cardstock paper. No harm in trying anyway.
    We’re doing it next week, so I hope it rains this week.

  3. Wow, great mushroom print! Our mushrooms didn’t have as many spores. But the print still looks cool! My neighbor has half a fairy ring. We didn’t have such good luck with the mold though, some of the kids couldn’t get any to grow.

    • The kids probably had store bought bread. I always like it when a couple of the students bring in the white bread, so I can show them the difference between white store bought and fresh. 🙂 However; we did have some difficulty in growing a good amount of mold this year. I didn’t start my mold until late, so I had just a little mold.

  4. Name of Drug: HALLUCINOGENS
    Also known as: Peyote, LSD, PCP, mushrooms, shrooms, and Special K
    Characteristics: Bewildered appearance, may appear out of touch with immediate environment; difficulty in speaking.
    That is the first thing I thought of when I read your title. Don’t ask me why I know that 😦
    I’m glad that you are not promoting drugs.

    Cool prints!

    • “Characteristics: Bewildered appearance, may appear out of touch with immediate environment; difficulty in speaking.”

      Interesting. If I stop looking at shrooms, will my bewildered appearance go away? I can’t pronounce half the words in the Biology book, so I’m not sure my speaking will improve. LOL

  5. Sounds like a fun project, minus the worms. Guess the worms were imbedded in the shrooms. Fairy Rings can occur where old trees have died and the roots are dacaying underground.

  6. Ew, white worms and goo. My limits would be around the same area. =}

    That is a cool print!

  7. Pingback: Apologia Biology: Module 4 Experiments « Mindful Ramblings

  8. Pingback: Fungi | APPLIE'S PLACE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s