Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mushrooms and fungi

 We've had adequate rainfall all summer long.  Spring and late summer/early fall are great times to go mushroom hunting.   All kinds grow here - boletes, brackets, coral, sponge, slime, puffballs, sac, jelly toothed, and gilled varieties.

 Best place to find them is in the old woods.  There aren't a lot of other small things competing for resources, it stays moist, and there are lots of things fungi like to eat.   At first it's hard to see them.  I need to find at least one.  After that suddenly there are a myriad of them popping out of the ground everywhere around you.  Once I started seeing them I realized how hard it was to walk w/o stepping on any.
 They grow in colonies.  The same type of mushroom will be found in close proximity to others of it's variety.  My understanding is that they are probably all parts of the same subterranean organism.  However, digging won't unearth some immense throbbing body.  The underground portion of the fungi is mycelium branching out through the soil, wood, or whatever other food source.  These mushrooms are just the "fruit".

I'll peruse my books to try and determine what kind of mushrooms I find.  Books usually denote which mushrooms are edible.  However those same books remind the reader multiple times that many edible mushrooms resemble inedible ones.  The poisonous ones will make you immediately sick with nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea.  Those you'll recover from in a couple of days.   The deadly ones you won't feel any symptoms for awhile - maybe as much as a day. Those are the ones you need to get to a doc immediately since they are already damaging your internal organs.  One more tip - if the fungi is brightly colored it's rarely worth eating.

With all of these delicious poisons at hand, kinda makes you wonder why the old West had so much gun violence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had the white looking one at the rose garden last night. Carolyn