It is always nice to find new and/or interesting mushrooms and it is sometimes surprising where you find them.  I have been wandering around the University of Guelph campus looking for fungi for many years and visited a few of the County forests within striking distance of Guelph on a regular basis during the summmer and fall.  Despite this, in the last year I have found several interesting or unusual fungi on campus or close by that I haven't seen  before and that are not in my book.

Stropharia hardii

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Driving through the University of Guelph arboretum I spied what I thought was a species of Agaricus in the grass beside the road.  On taking a closer look  I found it was a Stropharia that I eventually identified as Stropharia hardii.  This species is not in the book!  Where it was hiding all the years I have been wandering in the arboretum I'll never know.  You can see immediately that the gills are attached to the stem which will distinguish it from a free-gilled Agaricus.

Agaricus haemorrhoidarius

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It is fairly easy to identify a mushroom as a species of Agaricus  i.e.   purple black spore print, free gills and a ring on the stalk.   So I was pleased to see a cluster of shaggy looking Agaricus growing beside an old hardwood log in the arboretum at the University of Guelph.   On reevaluation, I suspect this is close to  Agaricus haemorrhoidarius,  the cap is scaly and the cut surfaces turn blood red as you can see in the specimens to the left of the picture.

Clavulina amethystina      

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There is a Wellington County agreement forest called Sudden Tract near Guelph that I visit regularly.  A number of the pictures in my book were taken at this location.   I checked it out a few weeks ago and there was very few fungi fruiting.   Perhaps this resulted in  a more critical inspection.   At any rate as I was wanderiong around a 'hot spot'I was very lucky and found a nice example of Clavulina amethystina.   This species has two-spored basidia and is superficially very similar to Clavaria zollingeri which has four-spored basidia and is sparingly branched. I have not seen Clavulina amethystina before in Ontario and the only other time I've seen it was in Massachusetts many years ago.  Some books suggest this species is relatively common but I haven't found this to be true.  Another handsome species not in  my book!   I used a bean bag for this view.  Bean bags are very useful from time to time (p28 of the book).

Volvariella pusilla   

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I don't have any species of Volvariella in my book.   The genus is characterized by having a pinkish spore print, a cup (volva) at the base of the stalk, and free gills (gills not attached to stalk).   When I went to go home one day last fall and found Volvariella pusilla  fruiting in the grassy verge beside the parking lot within three feet of my front bumper.  Not the perfect specimen but all I've got to date.  I'll keep my eye on the spot and hope to get a better shot in the future.

Spathulariopsis velutipes

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Commonly called Fairy Fan, this species is in my book.  The picture in the book was taken on the Booth Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario.  I visited the spot  again in August of 2000 and lo and behold the Spathulariopsis was in prime condition so I got another chance at taking a photo.  It is a better specimen and a better photo than the one in my book.   It was fruiting on an old rotten log so it was easier to get a good angle.