Ferns, Moss, and Fungi!

Today, December 6, 2018, I visited my phenology spot. It was very cold and snowy, with the temperature being around 28 degrees fahrenheit. Despite the slippery slopes in Centennial, I made it to my phenology spot! It took me a little longer than usual due to the ice coating of the paths and boardwalks.

The icy path.

At my spot I discovered some new nature that I have never noticed before. First, on a fallen birch tree I spotted some white mushrooms. I had difficulty identifying this species of mushroom. At first I guessed it was a birch polypore, mostly because it was growing on a birch tree. However, after closer inspection I realized my mushroom was flatter and whiter than the birch polypore. Also, I researched more on the birch polypore mushroom, and they mature in September and it seems unlikely that the birch polypore will still be alive in December. Perhaps it is an oyster mushroom, but those normally do not survive in the winter either. I think further observation of these mushrooms would be necessary for me to correctly identify it, but I think my best guess at this point is an oyster mushroom. This reminded me of the mushroom I saw on the fallen birch in my Belmont blog. 

Mushroom growing on a fallen paper birch tree.

I also noticed the ferns in my phenology spot. Even coated in snow they still retained their green leaves. This is makes me think that they are perhaps intermediate wood ferns, the most common fern type in New England and also evergreen fern.

A suspected intermediate wood fern.

Lastly, I saw some moss and lichens growing on multiple trees.

Moss growing on the side of a tree.