Mushroom Mentor Needed

While I am enjoying seeking out new fungi, identifying them continues to be something of a nightmare. I am using an on-line ‘identifyer’ as my first port of call but am struck, as I research their suggestions, by just how much variation there is within a species and just how wide the differences. I find many reliable fungi sites showing photos of particular species that look absolutely nothing like the photos shown for the same species on a different site!

Take the photos below as an example, my photos of what look like very different fungi, which perfectly match photos displayed on reputable websites, for this one species.

Smoky Polypore/Bracket Bjerkandera adusta (above and below)

Can this be right or have I misunderstood something fundamental?

Then there is this one, which looks to me more like photo 1 than photo 2 does, but is, apparently, completely different.

Maitake Grifola frondosa

I badly need a mushroom mentor!

Rant it out!
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