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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


Monday, November 4, 2019

Russell's bolete stipe/stalk

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – November 1 st 2019

Brought to you with pleasure by MCHT and VLT

Blip - #5 maybe – kings of the forest – boletes, amanitas, cortinarius, and russualaceae.


PSA – You should be wearing orange when out in the woods these days – it is deer hunting time in Maine. Currently we are in archery season and while there are certainly less of these hunting types,  youth day is approaching quickly (October 26), with fire arm season (Nov 2-30) and muzzleloader/expanded archery  extending the season until mid-December (Dec 14). Exciting times in the woods, for sure. Good idea to get in the habit of orange hats, jacket, vest, gloves, etc. just to announce your presence a little more.  Especially when close to deer habitat which is pretty much the entire island.


There is no hunting statewide on Sundays and never hunting on the Lane’s Island Preserve. 


And so…’s been a while, the entire staff at the VSR was gone, outta state, outta mind for a stretch. To make a long story short, the VSR was placed on the royal “backburner” maybe a dozen times over the last two months. Things collected – piled up really, some good stuff too. We have now come to the conclusion that we won’t have enough time in one “fell swoop”, so instead we will be making “little swoops” – kind of blips and bleeps, “shorties” for those Aqua Teen Hunger Force fans – and so here they come. 


Thanks of course to all those who have shared and continue to share sightings – natural and beyond – because sharing is what the VSR is all about. Send your photos, stories and emails to – it’s what the cool kids are doing!


New stuff – our favorite mychorrhizals

(mycorrhizae, mycorrhiza or mycorrhizas) is a symbiotic association between a fungus and a plant. The term mycorrhiza refers to the role of the fungus in the plant's rhizosphere, its root system. Mycorrhizae play important roles in plant nutrition, soil biology and soil chemistry.


slug and patches

Four great mushroom families that taste great together! (we do not literally mean eating these shrooms. The spruce/fir forests we live in are a bolete/amanita/cortinarius/russulaceae forests, and while they all deserve their own standing, they complement each other so well we’ve decided to include a photo gallery of some of the latest, and hottest of the striking mushroom styles… here we go! These are some of our favorite Mychorrhizals!


the Amanitaceae – everyone knows “I’m an Amanita man” – and if you didn’t….now you do! When I say that though, I mean I appreciate the Amanita for what they add to the forest aesthetically, ecologically, and spiritually (maybe not that last one). What I don’t mean is that I’m an Amanita man because I ingest them. I have in the past, but Amanitas (and mushrooms in general) especially remind us that mushrooms deserve respect, respect that your life might depend on!

tawny grissette with scales on cap!

almost patchless yellow patches

yellow patches

so cute at this stage

blusher amanita as a slug feast!

amanita muscaria

great year for destroying angels

loads of destroying angels this year

strangulated grissette

tawny grisette

tawny grisette cap close up

tawny grisette base of stipe close up

cleft-footed amanita egg case

cleft-footed amanita stipe base


Russell's bolete

 The Boleteaceae – when we play favorites in the mushroom world we definitely put Boletes on the top of the “favorite heap”. Probably because sponges feel better than gills. See what you think, make up your own mind, and choose Boletes!

violet-brown bolete

bicolored bolete

painted bolete

king bolete

king hand

king bolete being cleaned

king bolete attacked by Bolete Mold!

orange scaber stalk

scaber stalk stalk..

king bolete stalk for comparison

king bolete!

red-mouthed bolete

had fun watching these bitter boletes
at the beginning of the platform trail

this bitter bolete went from this.... this

close up of bitter bolete stalk

slug slime and dew on bitter bolete

view from above through cap

hollow-stemmed bolete

check out these hot pores
on the underside of hollow-stemmed bolete

emetic russulas


Russualaceae – the Russulas and the Milkies. Need we say more about these mychorrhizal beauties!

purple bloom russula

orange delicious milky and slug

orange (delicious) milk

variable russula

bearded milky....with milk!

Cortinariaceae – the Corts! – diverse family of fungi adding colors and life to the spruce/fir forests in the fall.

here are just a few of the many cort species that turned up in the woods the last few months

viscid violet cort

viscid violet cort

cinnamon cort

cort gills


shaggy manes!

And leif with some shrooms! The boy loves him some Boletes! H


first day of fifth grade!
And he has been teaching his friends about Inky Caps and Orange Jellies! You’re a good man, Leify G!