Inky Caps

March 23, 2016

Inky Caps

March 23, 2016
Posted in: Nature | Reading Time: 3 minutes
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Coprinopsis, Inky Cap Mushroom

I know, I never write anymore. I could have fallen off the face of the earth or better yet, suddenly recovered from Lyme disease and got on a plane to Aruba for some much needed vacation. I could only dream. The weather's been cray-cray here lately Internet. Pouring for a week straight. We've finally started implementing the bigger part of our landscape around the house too, which has been keeping me busy. Picking out fruit trees and planning the vegetable garden, it's all so much for a poor Lymie. Plus the cracker has been on the down low with his injured psoas muscle. It's not getting much better (or worse) so I have to come up with a Plan B because we can't leave him limping at night.

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Coprinopsis, Inky Cap Mushroom

In the mean time, I took some shots of my favorite mushroom found sprouting up after a rainy week, the Coprinopsis. They're also known as Inky Caps as their black spore prints and grills that liquefy producing an ink that can actually be used as writing ink.

The liquefying of the grills is actually a method to disperse spores efficiently. The grills liquefy from the bottom up as the spores mature. The cap peels up and away and the maturing spores are kept in the best position for catching wind currents. The shape of the cap progresses from oval to a broadly bell-shaped and eventually more or less flat as the spores nearest the stem are exposed to air currents.

There are many variations of the Copinopsis. One particular species, can be toxic if consumed with alcohol. This particular species in this post appears to be (and I could be wrong) the Coprinopsis lagopus sometimes known as Hare's foot Inkcap. In their early age, they are furry and appear egg-shaped. They eventually change shape turning upwards and shrinking to produce an shallow, black ribbed translucent bowl. Their fruit bodies go through their entire visible life cycle within 24 hours.

These mushrooms are seriously fragile and don't last long on the trails. The Coprinopsis are so short-lived that some can appear, liquefy and turn to black goo within a matter of hours.

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Coprinopsis, Inky Cap Mushroom

Their design just fascinates me. Unfortunately I did not have my macro with me so I couldn't spot any Ink Fairies. But I bet they were there, probably guzzling down a pint of inky beer.

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3 comments on “Inky Caps”

  1. hello wild dingo its dennis the vizsla dog hay those mushrooms do luk fansy and delikat!!! i think a pixie mite like to ware wun for a hat!!! we send lots of tail wags to loki to feel better soon!!! ok bye

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