Last year, while taking photographs in the woods for a multimedia project, I found a tiny red mushroom. What began as an innocent fascination is now a full on obsession (they say the first step is admitting you have a problem). Willow now sniffs out mushrooms for me then she’ll sit and wait for me to take pictures, and regulars on the trail have started pointing me in the direction of mushrooms they think I’ll enjoy. I have become the crazy-haired mushroom lady whose dog is missing half her legs (corgi superpowers of cuteness).
I’ve found a variety of mushrooms ranging from cute and colorful to vile and distressing. September is National Mushroom Month so I’m sharing my virtual mushroom collection with you. I’ve supplied names where possible, but classifying mushrooms can be difficult and I’m not confident my classifications are 100% so don’t eat weird fungi based on this blog’s classifications. Some I couldn’t name, and if you know the names or see where I’ve misidentified others, feel free to correct me in the comments section below.
The mushroom season starts off in my area with a wide variety of Russula. These mushrooms are like the beginning of a fireworks display with the more rare and colorful fungi appearing as the finale of the season.
Puffballs are also abundant. In my youth, I enjoyed throwing the little white ones at my brother because sometimes they would pop on impact leaving behind a glorious green goop.
These puffballs dotted the moss covered forest floor like a broken strand of pearls.
Russula and certain types of puffballs are edible, however, certain red-caps may be toxic and some puffballs are poisonous. Russula mushrooms are also referred to as brittlegill and can have a bitter taste.
Next up is the Amanita. These mushrooms are considered poisonous but are eaten in some areas (please don’t eat them unless you know what you’re doing as in rare cases, people do die from their consumption). These mushrooms are also known for their hallucinogenic properties. @_@ Again, I’m not a mushroom expert so if you tramp out to the woods and eat a funky looking mushroom in the hopes of having your own “I Am the Walrus” moment, and instead of @_@ you end up X_X then that shit is on you.
Boletes are edible and very good for you.
Members of the fungi family are quite diverse and colorful. If all mushrooms were the same, this post would be super dull and boring. *Wink*
Mushroom gills are so awesome.
Lichens, molds, and moss.
Fairy fingers, coral, and bird nests.
And now, the Stinkhorn family, a most distressing lot.