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The Vinalhaven Sightings Report is organized and edited by Kirk Gentalen on behalf of Vinalhaven Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Out and about on Vinalhaven, MCHT steward Kirk Gentalen reports on what he and others have seen in their travels. Contributions of stories and photos are welcome, and can be sent to


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – Oct 5, 2018

Brought to you with the support of MCHT and VLT! Thanks you!


Highlights – mushrooms

guillemot submerged

So, I don’t really know where to begin. Other than to say that since the last VSR post I have pretty much looked at nothing but mushrooms (only a slight exaggeration). Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms – non-stop since it rained September 10th.   Some folks have sent in sightings, and these are much appreciated. They are also of mushrooms. It’s whats been happening, and what continues.  This going to be a mushroom post for the most part.


I have had the pleasure of doing mushroom programs recently in Rockport, Hope and Bremen, and on  Mount Desert Island and Monhegan. I also had a great mushroom photography outing with the 4th and 5th graders on Vinalhaven! Thanks to VLT for sponsoring that one!


Anyway, things blend and most thing s are seen in multiple places – we like that about mushrooms – so it more of a species and photography post. Mushrooms are my favorite subject.


Anyway, enjoy the tons of mushroom pictures!


king bolete

Quick PSA – a delay in this VSR production was directly linked to my recent contraction of Anaplasmosis – a tickborne bacteria thing. The nice doctor person at the Pen Bay told me a black legged tick needs to latch on only for a short period of time to play “pass the bacteria” and the infection will start.  On day two of antibiotics and I already feel much better, nothing a little doxy can’t fix.

king bolete

My experience - Certainly wasn’t the worst pain or sickness I have ever felt – I would call the chills, slight fever and slothyness (more than usual) “tolerable”. It came on quick, like within minutes really I went from feeling groovy to shakin’ chilly. I gave it three days to get better – isn’t it weird to live in a time when you hope you have the flu (rather than some tick stuff!). I went to soccer games and strolls and just felt slightly crappy, where sitting in front of the computer really felt like a drag. Some of that might have been psychological about computers.

raveneli's stinkhorn


Anyway – if you come down with instant flu like symptoms keep ticks in the back of your mind and if things don’t go away in a timely manner get yourself checked. In my mind, a problem with tick influenced illnesses is misdiagnosis – personal and professional – that delays treatment. I can now proudly say that I have had Lyme and Anaplasmosis (and technically still do – eat my antibiotics bacteria!) – and fortunately neither knocked me down. Regardless, nothing is going to keep me from going outside – I mean, where else is there to go? Inside?  Stay vigilant and do tick checks! Make tick checks part of your daily routine!


Back to the VSR - First, we’ll get rid of some non-mushroom stuff way back from way before…..



Preying mantis in the yard


White admiral in the yard


Red-spotted newt – red eft stage – in the driveway


Here’s a gallery of slug shots….


horse or field mushrooms
Photo by Linnell Mather

One of the mushrooms in folks yards and fields has been the horse mushroom (Agaricus capestris) also known as field mushroom. they are white (like lots of the others) and have been abundant. here's photo of a horse mushroom group sent in by Linnell Mather

Boletus edulis
photo by Dylan Jackson
 we'll start with the best - and that's not bias, that's the truth - King Bolete (Boletus edulis). The porcini. For about a two week period there, these were in full on bloom and taking the mid-coast world by storm.
Here are some shots Dylan Jackson sent in. They were taken on Vinalhaven, which is about as specific as Porcini finders usually are about their edulis finds...

Boletus edulis
photo by Dylan Jackson

 and then more of a haul...
nice kings!
 and a gallery of some of the 25 or so of Kings Leif and I picked, all within walking distance of our house...


the cap is reminiscent of Boletus hortonii....
but the stalk/stipe screams B. edulis

they came in all shapes and sizes, some were conjoined, and some leif bonded with


lower king got strangled by a root

cooked with Leccinum astrostipitatum

Leif is a master mushroom cleaner with his mushroom knife

my favorite breakfast sandwich. eggs and kings!

and the hard work literally paid off

a nine year old identified and picked most of these


and then there were a few "infected" by the bolete eater (Hypomyces chrysospermus)...

these ones look a little funky


here are some "other" boletes....we love them all!

Leccinum atrostipitatum
Leccinum atrostipitatum


Leccinum atrostipiatum
Boletus subvelutipes

Boletus subvelutipes

Boletus subvelutipes....and friend

I believe Tylopilus chromapes
by the stalk/stipe. never seen one at this stage before
Tylopilus eximus

Suilllus granulatus

Suillus americanus

Leccinum scabrum

Suillus sinuspaulianus

have not found in books yet (HNFIBY)
Boletus bicolor

Boletus bicolor

Boletus bicolor

Boletus bicolor

they ended up like this, not sure

they looked like this at first

Tawny Grissette (Amanita fulva)

a Tawny Grissette, a few others and the many faces of Amanita muscaria...

Amanita muscaria - as are the rest until further noted

A. muscaria "button"

Cleft-foot Amanita (Amanita brunnescens)

some chanterelles around

and now for the "other, others"...
young red-belted conk

dye makers polypore - love these
scarlet waxy cap

Plums and custard
Tricholomopsis rutilan

orange jelly

Birch Polypore

Poisonous Pigskin Puffball

Ramariopsis laeticolor

Turkey Tail

Luminescent Panellus

Poison Pie - Hebeloma crustuliniforme

Cortinarius sp. with nice Cortina veil

another Cortinarius sp with moist Cortina veil

Cortinarius sp.

submerged after a good rain

Jack O' Lanterns

lobster mushroom

False Chanterelle

Russula decolorans

Lactarius rufus

Splash cups - Cyathus striatus -
Cortinarius sp.

Cortinarius sp.

splash cups - open

and know for something a little disturbing...

Raveneli's Stinkhorn - Phallus ravenelii - lives up to both its latin and common names. they have been popping up the last month or so. starting in eggs and then getting tall and stinky. the cap is covered with "spore-goo" (place joke here) which attracts insects and they become the vector of spore dispersal. Here are some photos of the process...



 and on that note, we wrap up the mushroom section. hope you have enjoyed.
and here's some more in our never ending quest of finding "limited edition" items at the store.


"real reese's peanut butter"?
is that mean anything to you?
plus a few odd things said on packaging
"purple bam!" "makes purple milk"
that color that sound that name
I think the name "original" would've been
a better name
and cookie picnics remain a favorite with Leif
Enjoy an we'll see you out there!