Mushrooms

There is a fungus among us!  We have a lot of different types of  mushroom on our future homestead.  In the early fall after a drenching rain they seem to pop up out of the ground just about everywhere.  Then again in the spring, while the ground is still wet but the temperature is beginning to warm, we get some really beautiful ones.

Don't these look like dried apricots?

Don’t these look like dried apricots?

There are red ones, white ones and yellow ones that look like sea coral.  If I liked eating mushrooms, I might be more interested in finding out what type of mushroom we have.  But alas, to my husband’s chagrin, I’ve never been a mushroom eater.

This one looks just like sea coral or sea sponge!

This one looks just like sea coral or sea sponge!

The red ones are quite strikingly beautiful, but if I correctly remember some of the information I was taught in my junior college botany class,  the brightly colored ones are usually poisonous!

This picture doesn't show how vivid red this one is.  It really stands out even in the shade, but I'll bet it's poisonous!

This picture doesn’t show how vivid red this one is. It really stands out even in the shade, but I’ll bet it’s poisonous!

If anyone of you out there can identify any of the mushrooms I have pictured here, please let me know.  I don’t believe I would ever harvest any of them for my dinner plate, but I guess it would be good to know if there are any poisonous ones around, especially when the grandchildren come to visit!

We call this one the football helmet mushroom because, well, it looks like a football helmet!  It actually had a bronze color to it!  Beautiful!

We call this one the football helmet mushroom because, well, it looks like a football helmet! It actually had a bronze color to it! Beautiful!

With all that being said, I must confess that I have a book on identifying mushrooms.  I read the book with all the instructions on how to identify certain mushrooms but try as I might, I just can’t get the hang of it.  I can follow a sewing pattern fairly well and I have no problems following a cooking recipe, but as much as I try, I just can’t pinpoint the species of mushroom!  I guess part of that is because of the fear factor involved.  I wouldn’t want to decide a mushroom is edible, be wrong, and have disastrous results.  It happens.

I call this one the icky mushroom.  When it is done doing it's thing, it shrivels up, turns slimy brown and looks like dog poop!  Eeewwww

I call this one the icky mushroom. When it is done doing it’s thing, it shrivels up, turns slimy brown and looks like dog poop! Eeewwww

Perhaps someday I will get someone up there who has a lot of experience with the dear little fungi, but some of them aren’t so little.  I measured one that was 9 inches across!  That’s the size of most dinner plates!

These two white mushrooms aren't really as slimy as they look.  Kind of reminds me of raw pot stickers - how about you?

These two white mushrooms aren’t really as slimy as they look. Kind of reminds me of raw pot stickers – how about you?

Here’s an old joke that just came to mind:  One meek little male mushroom asked a beautiful female mushroom out on a date.  Sadly, she bluntly refused him.  He was quick to retort, however, that she was missing out on a great date because he was a fun guy!  Get it?  Fungi.            Oh.

Of all the mushrooms we have on our property, this one looks the least noxious!  But, I'm probably wrong.

Of all the mushrooms we have on our property, this one looks the least noxious! But, I’m probably wrong.

One thing I haven’t found on our property yet, however, is a fairy ring.  A fairy ring is a ring of mushrooms that is formed when the first or central mushroom sends out mycelium (kind of like a root system) in an arc or a circle.  The fruiting cap of the mushroom is the part you see and as the mycelium grows outward, the fruiting caps also grow outward sometimes in a very awe-inspiring circle or arc.  We found a quite impressive one in Fort Bragg, California, at the Pine Beach Hotel.  There is was in the lawn right outside of their lobby.  Have you seen a fairy ring?

Shared at:  The backyard farming connection hop, Tilly’s Nest – Down Home Blog Hop, Wilderness Wife – Wicked Good Wednesday Hop, Frugally Sustainable – Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days.
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Wildcrafting Wednesday
Wildcrafting Wednesday

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8 thoughts on “Mushrooms

  1. Hey I thought that’s were the fairies danced. That’s what I was told as a kid, you ruined it. Now your going to say there’s no Santa Claus. Boo!

    • Yes, they are actually quite interesting – and there are different types – woodland versus meadow. It’s really quite exciting when you find a fairy ring. Thanks for your comment!

    • Thanks. Actually, I have more – lots more! Some day I will have to post a whole pictorial of mushrooms, sans writing, in my blog. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I love mushrooms. I grow shitake and oysters on logs and in straw. Unfortunately I had a house fire and need to restart. Fungi don’t like heat like that. I have a friend who got me started in mycology and plan to use a method he uses. He inoculates his raised beds (lasagna kind of) with Kin Strapharia (Fungi perfecti is the company he gets it from) and lets it go. There are many reasons for this. They are delicious. They are easy to identify. They help break down the compost further. But according to him, the mycelium (mushroom roots sort of) help distribute the water in the beds more evenly to the bed by wicking through the elaborate system under the ground. This type of shroom can actually handle sun too, so you can put them in any garden bed. My friend has amazing gardens.

    • Great ideas! I know there are lots of mushroom kits out there, but most of the kits seem pretty pricey. Does your friend have a website or blog? Do you? If you don’t, you should! You seem to have a wealth of information! Again, thanks for all the information you bring to my blog and your willingness to share your knowledge!

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