Good morning team. What other mushroom would be more appropriate for this week than the Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)? Trametes Versicolor is one of the most common mushrooms in North America but it's also very easily confused with other species of Trametes/polypores. A few general identification tips are that the mushrooms grow stacked on top of each other, the cap is fuzzy to the touch, the cap has concentric rings of varying colors (hense versicolor), the pores underneath are barely visible, and the margins of the cap are typically white. The picture below, taken today, is from the fallen oak in Tupelo and features (what I'm pretty sure is) young Trametes Versicolor.
There are at least three species of Trametes growing on this oak and I do my best to differentiate. Below, on the right is Trametes versicolor and on the left is Trametes betulina. The biggest way to determine the difference between these two is by looking underneath the cap.
In the rightside image, the Trametes on the left is the species betulina which has gills while, on the right, Trametes versicolor has very fine pores. I could keep going but for the sake of brevity I'll leave it at that. If you're still curious Michael Kuo has a good dichotomous key to help you: https://www.mushroomexpert.com/trametes_versicolor.html.
Paul Stamets talks fondly of Trametes versicolor in the documentary Fantastic Fungi and credits it (along with the proper pharmaceuticals) in helping his mom overcome breast cancer at the age of 84. While I admire and respect Paul, from my understanding Trametes versicolor's medicinal properties haven't been verified by credible scientific research. But I still believe him.
Have a fun Monday (the sun is coming out as I type this) and a pleasant Thanksgiving,