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Honey fungus (18)
jconceicao Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 369 W: 18 N: 842] (3174)
Honey fungus

Armillaria Mellea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Honey fungus or Armillaria is a genus of parasitic fungi that live on trees and woody shrubs. It includes about 10 species formerly lumped together as A. mellea.
Armillaria is long lived and form some of the largest living organisms in the world. The largest single organism (of the species Armillaria ostoyae) covers more than 3.4 square miles (8.9 km˛) and is thousands of years old. Some species of Armillaria are bioluminescent and may be responsible for the phenomena known as foxfire and perhaps will o' the wisp.
As a forest pathogen, Armillaria can be very destructive. It is responsible for the "white rot" root disease (see below) of forests and is distinguished from Tricholoma (mycorrhizal) by this parasitic nature. Its high destructiveness comes from the fact that, unlike most parasites, it doesn't need to moderate its growth in order to avoid killing its host, since it will continue to thrive on the dead mater
The fruiting bodies of the fungus are mushrooms that grow on wood, typically in cestipose clusters. The cap is 3–15 cm in diameter, typically has a honey yellow-brown color, and is covered with small dark scales. The stem may or may not have a ring. All Armillaria species have a white spore print and none have a volva (see Amanita).
Honey mushrooms are edible and are easy to identify. Grossly similar species include Pholiota sp. which also grow in cestipose clusters on wood and fruit in the fall. However Pholiota sp. have a yellowish to greenish yellow cast and a dark brown to grey-brown spore print. Mushroom hunters need to be especially wary of Galerina sp. which can grow side by side with Armillaria sp. also on wood. Galerina has a dark brown spore print and is deadly poisonous (alpha-amanitin) – see: Mushroom poisoning. There are some reports of temporary stomach problems, especially when eaten raw.

Altered Image #1

jconceicao Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 369 W: 18 N: 842] (3174)
Light levels, Sharpen and Crop
Edited by:Kathleen Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 375 W: 101 N: 68] (232)

Because the main bunch deserves all the attention and my eye is always looking down into the darker bottom left where there is not much interest, I have cropped a little off the left to the piece of wood with the fern, so my eye cannot move below that, the eye then stays with your wonderful shot of the main bunch nicely lit. I have also cropped off the bottom a little.
The histogram of the photo does say there is room to move on the middle to light tone, so I have bought the level up on the lighter end.
Sharpen in unsharp mask to give detail to the caps, skirts and stalks of the fungi. Sharpen 150, radius 0.3, threshold 0.
Hope you like, as always, individual preference.