Unidentified Kentucky mushroom
Dozens of these brown and purple mushrooms have sprung up under the old maple tree. I suppose that the spores were lying on the ground, waiting for perfect conditions, and the several quick, hard rains of last week activated them. Obviously, they like hot, steamy weather.
I have searched the internet for a couple of hours, trying to find an identified mushroom that looks like these. I've looked at photographs of hundreds of mushrooms, but I haven't found a single one that resembles these at all. Maybe these mushrooms are an unusual variety. Or maybe I'm not recognizing them when I see them in someone else's photograph..
It could be that I'm just not searching with the right terms. It's hard to describe them. Are they orange, copper, brown, or tan? Purple or violet blotches, spots, or mottling?
It wouldn't surprise me to learn that these mushrooms are usually found around old trees whose roots are rotting. Our old maple tree is in decline. It has taken a beating in several ice storms and it's leaning southeast. That's a good direction, if it must lean; our house is on the west side of the tree.
Here are a couple of views of the bottom of one of the mushrooms. I really had to search around to find one that was still fresh. All of them have gone dark brown on their top skins, and I only found one little mushroom that hadn't gone brown on its underside. It is smaller than any of the mushrooms in the photo at top. Isaac brought home a pocketful of Euro change from Germany, and the coin in the photo is one of those -- more or less the size of a half-dollar coin.
The flesh is yellow all the way through. The little dip in the outer margin of the mushroom cap seems to be a feature of the species. In some of the larger mushrooms that I pulled up while trying to find a fresh one, the stem seems to be set to one side, because the dip was deep and spread-open.