Nature Notebook: Fungi Study

We\’ve had ideal conditions for a study of fungi in the past month and we found some interesting specimens. The green and the black fungi were new to us but we see bracket fungi all the time in our area and the coral fungi pops up now and again.
This is Moozle\’s nature notebook entry for this past week.

We made some spore prints: turn the cap upside down so its gills sit on top of some white paper; cover with a glass jar or dish to keep out any draught and leave for about 24 hours.
We were able to confirm the name of one specimen we were unsure of by observing the colour of its imprint.

If you wanted to keep these imprints, the paper should be covered very thinly with egg white or an adhesive gum to hold the spores fast. Moozle just observed and drew them this time.

The new discovery…a friend (thanks Anna M!) suggested this might be Dermocybe austroveneta.


Handbook of Nature Study, First Studies in Plant Life in Australasia, a guide to our local area\’s flora & fauna and for young children, Mushrooms & Molds by Robert Froman (out of print) is a good \’Let\’s Read and Find Out Science Book,\’ with some hands on activities. There\’s a preview of it here. 
The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass has a good, basic section with some simple pen & ink drawings.

Online resources:

Fungimap & lichenised fungi

Australasian Mycological Society

Australian Fungi – Australian National Herbarium

An Australian Fungi Blog!


If you\’d like a crime mystery with your fungi study, The Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers centres around a fungi expert whose death was caused when he ingested a bowl of deadly mushrooms! This is the only mystery novel that I\’ve read by Sayers where Lord Peter Wimsey is absent entirely. It\’s been a while since I\’ve read it but it\’s probably best for around age 16 years and older.

10 thoughts on “Nature Notebook: Fungi Study

  1. Fungi are fascinating! I have always found them so. My own explorations have been limited to taking photographs and trying to identify the fungus afterward. You have pictures of some interesting samples here. The plot of The Documents of the Case sounds very neat.


  2. Thanks, Ruth. We are in a valley not too far from the east coast & the area is generally fairly lush. If you go a bit further west it's drier & we have our areas of desert as well. I read up a little on desert fungi on one of the websites I posted above.


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