Species

Destroying angel

Gray ringless amanita

Blushing lepiota

Crinita amanita

Gemmed amanita

Green-gills

Yellow-wart amanita

The panther

Chalk-top

Brown amanita

Fly amanita

Vermillion wax-gill

Carves amanita

Little scale amanita

Red cone

Spiny lepiota

Wax-gill

Jack-o-lantern

Reddish leiota

Yellow wax-gill

Blue milk cap

Golden chanterelle

Red tuft

Velvet russula

Horn of plenty

Anise funnel

Tenderhead

The tangerine

Clubfoot

Torn fiberhead

The funnel

Golden trumpets

Meadow mushroom

Painted-gill

Red milk-cap (hemlocks)

Bulbed agaric

Peppery milk-cap

Bitter milk-cap

Shaggy mane

Yellow russula

Wine milk-cap

Japanese umbrella

Green russula

Stinking russula

Mower's mushroom

Velvet-stem

Northern russula

Purple russula

The tiger

Fried chicken

The oyster (aspen)

Pine-cone collybia

Angel wings

Train wrecker

The bear

Dwarf oyster

Conifer fiberhead

Little curls

Forest agaric

Brick top

Little Nail

Old-man-of-the-woods

Granular bolete

American bolete

Orange bolete

Slippery jack

Rough-stem bolete

Mock oyster

Leather collar

Blue stainer

Painted lady

Painted bolete

Bitter bolete

Birch conk

Velvet-top

Sulphur shelf

Turkeytail

Orange shelf

Lacquer top

Tinderwood

Red belt

Golden bracket

Clinker (aspen)

Honey comb

Hen-of-the-woods

Toothed jelly

Water measurer

Filled cup

Big roseete

Blunt antlers

Indian club

Spindle coral

Large white coral

Amethyst coral

Flat-top coral

Red-tip coral

Erect coral

Red bubbles (alder)

Cauliflower

Shaggy puffball

Bird's-nest

Common stinkhorn

Netted stinkhorn

Crowned earthstar

Summer cup

Pig's-ear

Wavy cup

Yellow ear

Habitat

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Conifers

Prairie/Savanna

Prairie/Savanna

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Conifers

Conifers

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Conifers

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Hardwoods

Conifers

September 11 - 20

 

Racine has 12 hours and 16 minutes of daylight and Superior has 12 hours and 17 minutes of daylight at the end of the period. Southern Wisconsin loses 28 minutes of daylight and northern Wisconsin has 33 minutes less than the previous period. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushrooms, toadstools and other fungi: Mushrooms are everywhere, but why don’t we see that many. The mushrooms and toadstools are just a tiny fraction of the volume of fungus below our feet. Fungi, which also include shelf fungi, jelly fungi, puffballs, earthstars, stinkhorns, bird’s-nest fungi, and cup fungi, are found on virtually every surface on the planet.  Without these fascinating life forms, most of the inhabitants of our native forests, would not survive. The mushrooms, coral fungi, and puffballs are just the above ground bodies meant for reproduction.

 

Fungi don't have cells like those of a plant. Instead, their smallest units are tiny threads known as hyphae. Many of these can only be seen with a microscope. Collectively these threads form a network called a mycelium. The mycelia are still miniscule. They can spread though gnat bodies or form huge ever spreading fairy rings, such as the humongous fungus in Michigan that is estimated to be several thousand years old. 

 

Astonishingly, while hyphae are extremely tiny, there can be 1000 yards of them in an ounce of soil, and in an acre of Wisconsin forestland, there may be well over 2 tons of fungi. If you pick up a handful of leaf litter in the forest, you are likely to expose the slightly furry looking network of fungal mycelia. While the individual threads are microscopic, there are so many of them, often clustered together, they can become visible to the naked eye. Fungi get nourishment by digesting living or dead organic matter. Fungi obviously have no mouths or stomachs and instead they work their way through or over their food, absorbing nutrients directly through their cell walls. Nutrients with simple molecules, such as sugars, can be absorbed fairly readily. More complex protein molecules are harder to dissolve, therefore the fungi uses enzymes to make the nutrients available.

 

Sex is a complex business for fungi. Many fungi can reproduce sexually and asexually. Under certain conditions, they can send up a fruiting body without interacting with another fungus. This is asexual reproduction can happen quickly to make the best of a small window of good conditions. The fruiting body will release millions of its microscopic spores, a tiny proportion of which will germinate. Sexual reproduction enables the next generation to benefit from the genetic material of both parents, allowing it to develop new adaptations. Hyphae from two different fungi of the same species intertwine and then send up a fruiting body or mushroom, again releasing spores.

 

Whether sexual or asexual, the result is that innumerable spores are released into the air. Some species can release tens of millions of spores in a single hour - so it's perhaps just as well that only a small proportion of them actually germinate! Spores from the mushroom are then carried on the breeze, often many miles from their source.

 

The most common method for spore dispersal is to have either gills or pores on the underside of a mushroom. The spores drop and travel on the wind. These include all the familiar forms - mushrooms and toadstools, as well as bracket fungi, all of which can protect their spores from the elements with their waterproof caps. Puffballs and earthstars eject a puff of spores when a rain droplet hits the organism. Stinkhorns smell of rotting flesh, and attracting flies, which unwittingly disperse the spores on their feet.

 

Mycorrhizal fungal relationships are essential for productivity of many forested and prairie ecosystems. The process involves a fascinating partnership that takes place when the hyphae of certain fungi wrap around, or penetrate the roots of a plant. A mutually beneficial exchange, then, takes place. The fungus obtains sugars that the plant produces using photosynthesis. In return, the fungus provides the plant with vital nutrients that it extracts and transports from the soil. These nutrients would not be available to the trees or prairie wildflowers without the help of the mycorrhizal fungi. Surprisingly, most of the plants in virtually all of the world's terrestrial ecosystems rely on these relationships for their healthy growth. It gives some perspective on the importance of fungi when we consider that without them the world's forest ecosystems would collapse. Among the mycorrhizal fungi in native pinewoods are species such as the chanterelle, various boletes, and fly agarics.

 

Not all fungi are beneficial to productive forests. Many species of fungi feed on living things. Some parasitic fungi simply weaken their hosts, while others kill them. Examples include many of the shelf fungi. Many of these kinds of fungi dwell within their hosts for some time before attacking and killing the tree. This in itself creates superb deadwood habitat for a host of other species, especially wood-boring beetles.

Without fungi, the forest would pile up with layer upon layer of needles, leaves and other dead matter. The fungi that feed on dead organic matter are called saprophytes. The key role of these forest recyclers is to break down dead matter and return the nutrients to the soil to become available to plants once again. Leaf litter, dead animals, dead wood - in fact, anything that dies in the forest will be colonized by fungi and eventually reduced to soil.

 

The role of fungi in breaking down dead wood is especially crucial. Lignin is the substance that makes wood stiff, and it is so tough that animals cannot digest it. However, certain fungi are able to biodegrade this substance using particular enzymes, thus allowing the vast amounts of dead wood in a natural forest to be broken down.

 

The fruiting bodies of fungi provide an abundance of food for the wildlife of the forest. Squirrels and chipmunks store fungi to eat in winter. Voles and other rodents also gnaw on this feast. Their tooth marks, and the marks of slugs can often be seen on the caps of mushrooms. Older fruiting caps will be attacked by gnats and other insects. Shelf fungi can have their own miniature ecosystem. A study in Sweden found 27 species that live on or within the shelf, including species that prey on the fungal eaters.

 

Autumn is the best time for fungus lovers to walk through woodlands. Not because there are more fungi, but because many of the fungi that are there all year round become more conspicuous, sending forth the familiar mushrooms and toadstools. Since they depend on moist conditions to feed and grow, autumn is an ideal time for reproduction. The familiar smell associated with autumn woodlands is all down to fungi working their way through the soil.

 

Our native forest and prairie have an abundance of fungi. We probably have over 1000 known species in the state. The naturalist mostly will be able to identify only the most common and largest of the fungi. The following table indicates some of the most common fall fruiting species and the general habitats, in which they are found. Common names are from a Field Guide to the Mushrooms by Courtenay and Burdsall, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1982.

 

Table 1: Common species of mushrooms and other fungi andf thier preferred habitat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-September floral and fruiting peaks: Peak blooming is most predominant in open wet areas, such as prairies, sedge meadows, and fens. Although, forest areas are showing well with goldenrods and aster coloring the forest floor both north and south. Mid-September blooming plant and fruiting observation is best accomplished by visiting these habitats.  Several earlier blooming species are setting fruits in mid-September.

 

Table 2. Native Wildflowers with peak blooming/fruiting times September 11-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewelweed: The spotted jewelweed is an annual that does best in wet areas with little completion. They germinate in spring and grow throughout the season, finally developing flowers in late July and August. The flowers are hanging - orange, spotted with brown, and cornucopia-shaped. Once seen, they cannot be mistaken for any other flower in the state. Many species of insects and even hummingbirds visit the flowers for their prodigious nectar. After pollination seed pods grow and expand building pressure. At maximum pressure any touch by a passing mammal or curious naturalist, the pods explode. Seeds can be ejected several feet, and thus providing the alternate name “touch-me-not”.

 

Wild rice: Wild rice is an annual aquatic grass, which produces highly sought after seeds relished by humans and wildlife alike. The seed matures in late August and September. Ripe seeds drop into the sediment and germinate next spring. Seeds on a single stalk reach maturity over a 10-14 day period, with the top-most seeds maturing first.

 

Harvesting is done in canoes or small boats. The grain is harvested by hand using wooden sticks (flails) that bend the tall stalks over the canoe. As the seed heads are tapped, some rice falls in the canoe and some in the water to seed the bed for future years. The flails are rounded wooden rods or sticks no more than 38 inches long. Harvesting should be done gently to permit coming back and harvesting later ripening seeds. Wild rice ripens at gradual and uneven rates with difference occurring among lakes. The ripening season may last for three weeks on an particular water body.

 

Tidbits:

  • The tiger salamander migration to overwintering sites usually peaks in mid-September. Although, individuals can be seen into October.

  • Lepidopterans reaching peak numbers include:

    • Pitcher plant borer is a moth whose lava feeds exclusively on pitcher plants. Mid-September is a good time to look for adults in open bogs.

    • Parthenice tiger moth is found in wet meadows, where its second brood adults should be flying to deposit eggs where its host plants grow.

    • Lead-colored lichen moth – look for 2nd brood adults flying around barrens areas at night.

    • Bella moth – look for this day flying moth on prairies where its host bush=clover plants grow.

    • Figured tiger moth – the September broods are usually found in old fields.

    • Yellow bear caterpillars are the larval form of the Virginian tiger moth and can be seen in forests and gardens.

    • Polyphemus caterpillar – this large moth has an equally large caterpillar. This fluorescent green behemoth can be seen in September on some its favorite foods – birch, roses, or willows.

    • Cecropia caterpillar – this caterpillar is another very large critter. The forest green background with shiny yellow-orange knobs on its top-side, and blue dots on its side identify this species. It can be found in yards, orchards, fencerows, and woods. The favorite foods of the caterpillar are apple, ash, aspen, box elder, cherry, lilac, and willow.     

  • A visit to the bluffs along the Mississippi River or the shores of Lake Michigan may produce excellent numbers of migrating Broad-winged and Sharp-shined Hawks. Strong northwest winds can concentrate them along the lakeshore, because they do not want to fly across the massive water body.

  • Mid-September is a great to look for basking milk snakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Name

Jack-in-pulpit (berries)

Sweet flag (fruit)

Fringed gentian

Marsh aster

White oldfield (frost) aster

Heath aster

Flax-leaved aster

Smooth blue aster

Purple-stem aster

Winterberry (fruit)

Beechdrops

Helleborine

Lion's-foot

False boneset

Hairy goldenrod

Silky dogwood (fruit)

Pagoda dogwood (fruit)

Round-leaf dogwood (fruit)

Smooth blackhaw (fruit)

Hog-peanut (pods)

Shagbark hickory (nuts)

Red oak (acorns)

Mountain maple (fruit)

Habitat

Dry to moist woods

Marshes

Fens

Wet meadows

Wet meadows, sandy shores

Dry open areas

Dry open ground

Dry open ground

Sedge meadows, streambanks

Wet shrubby areas

Only under beech trees

Spreading European orchid

Dry woods and savannas

Dry to mesic prairies

Dry woods and savannas

Conifer swamps, bogs, fens

Mixed forests and swamps

Streambanks, thickets

Woods and thickets

Dry forest and savannas

Southern dry-mesic forest

Dry-mesic deciduous woods

Cool coniferous ravines