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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?