Found these outside my front door!

Please try to include photos to show all parts of the fungus, eg top, stem, and gills.
Note any smells, and associated trees or plants (eg oak, birch). A spore print can be very useful.
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blimpyboy
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Found these outside my front door!

Post by blimpyboy » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:16 pm

I have no skill at all in identifying mushrooms and wondered if any experts could tell me what these are? It's not the first time they have exploded into action, perhaps two or three times in the past few years. My only concern is that they might be harmful to me, my family or my cats!

Thanks for any advice you can give.


Regards
Ian
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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Found these outside my front door!

Post by Lancashire Lad » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:03 pm

Hi, and welcome to UK Fungi.

For future reference, if you have an ongoing interest in the subject, please take a moment to read http://www.fungi.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=49 HELP US TO HELP YOU TO IDENTIFY YOUR FINDS.
We appreciate that you might not always be able to obtain all the necessary information, but the more details you can provide, the better chance you will have of confident identification suggestions. (Particularly in respect of good, close up photos showing all necessary characteristics).

That said, these are one of the "Inkcaps". - They have the general appearance of Coprinellus micaceus - (Glistening Inkcap), but your photos don't appear to be showing much evidence of mica crystals which would be expected on the cap surfaces.
However, those crystals are more evident on younger specimens, and it could be that on these, they have been "rain-washed" off. (There does look to be what may be some mica crystals on a couple of the caps at left hand side of second photo).
They will be growing from buried rotting roots and wood debris around the stump that's visible in final photo. (They may actually appear on the stump itself, although they generally prefer very rotten wood).

If they are C.micaceus, they are generally accepted as being edible - (although they can actually "assimilate poisons when they grow in contaminated soil), so no real worries about harm to your family or pets, (If you have young children, just explain to them that they shouldn't eat them, as you would with anything else that they might encounter in the natural world!).
There is certainly no problem in handling them - even the most deadly poisonous of fungi can be handled with impunity if normal hygiene principles (I,e. washing hands before eating afterwards) are carried out.

Regards,
Mike.
Common sense is not so common.

blimpyboy
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Re: Found these outside my front door!

Post by blimpyboy » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:24 pm

Hi Mike,

Really kind of you to take the time to reply, thank you. Glad to hear that I don't need to treat them as potentially dangerous! I'll read the link you advise and possibly add some more photos tomorrow when I get clear light - it sounds like I've missed some crucial parts of the specimen in order to aid identification.

I have to say that I've always meant to get a good book on fungi so I can understand them properly - now would appear to be as good a time as any to do just that. Could you recommend any particularly appropriate UK guide for someone new to the subject like me?


Thanks & regards
Ian

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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Found these outside my front door!

Post by Lancashire Lad » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:47 pm

Hi Ian,

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply, and for the “thank you”! – So many people just don’t bother, and it’s always encouraging to know that our ID suggestions have actually been seen and appreciated.

As for a suitable guidebook suggestion – well, it’s a case of “it all depends . . . . “.
Numerous good quality books (and useful fungi web sites) are mentioned here: -
https://www.fungi.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=156

If you just want to “dip your toe in the water”, and want a reasonably pocket-sized general guide suited to carrying with you when out and about, then you won’t go far wrong with the very first book mentioned.
i.e.: - http://summerfieldbooks.com/collins-com ... tools~2327
It would be highly recommended as a first fungi book. (And at a reasonable price!!).
(All of the books listed in the first post of that thread are recommended – just that some are physically larger than others).

If you want a much larger and more comprehensive “coffee table” type book, (with associated much larger price tag!!!), then both of these are exceptional: -
https://www.fungi.org.uk/viewtopic.php? ... =24#p12164
and
https://www.fungi.org.uk/viewtopic.php? ... =24#p11649
(In my humble opinion, the two volume “Fungi of Temperate Europe”, although probably beyond what a beginner would immediately need (or would want to pay), is without doubt the best non-specialised fungi book to appear on the market to date).

Regards,
Mike.
Common sense is not so common.

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