Collection location: Bassetts, Sierra Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Observation from the “Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada”, June 9th, 2005, Yuba Pass region.
These were the most often found mushroom up there for the week. There are the classic snow bank mushroom, actually fruiting just under the melting snow, and appearing as the edge of the snow bank melts away. Often the growing mushroom produces some heat, and melts a small circle clear of snow, if the snow is thin enough, and it is warm enough.
This species is also hygophanous, and its color would change quite a bit depending on the moisture content. Anything from dark grey, to light tan. One frustrating day I gathered what I thought was 3-4 different species, and they were all this one, oh well.
The yellow-tan grandules on these, as with all the mushrooms found on this trip, are pine pollen from the trees in the forest, and not part of the mushroom.