Hello Nature-Led Friends!
I hope you’re all doing your best to stay healthy. I know this time of year gets busy for all of us but remember to get plenty of water, vitamin C, fresh air and sleep! Maybe a bit of Mushroom broth to help keep you warm and sated. Mushrooms are and excellent source of vitamin D. However, none of the following mushrooms should be eaten. I admire mushrooms for their beauty, diversity and place within the ecosystem but my classification skills of them is terrible. Please enjoy the following photo submission for entertainment purposes.
Let’s start our journey by passing through the mushroom gate.
This makes me think of the Torii gates of Japan that symbolically mark the transition between the rest of the world and the sacred.
Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)
The most popular and photogenic mushroom of the group goes to the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria). This mushroom is commonly found in the northern hemisphere and popular in illustrations and folklore of Western Europe. The mushroom is poisonous and does have some psychoactive properties. Druids of ancient Europe may have used it for its hallucinogenic properties and provided it to warriors prior to battle to reduce their stimulus to fear, but none of us are ancient Druids, so leave it on the ground for the fairy folk!
Fly Agaric Toadstools, Durham Egland by Leslie Dawson. Blog: https://moment-by-moment.blog/
Redmond WA USA By Patricia Lezama. Blog: https://patlezama.com/
Conks (aka Shelf Fungi or Bracket Fungi)
Found throughout the world growing on tree trunks and limbs, stumps, fallen logs, and sometime structural lumber.
Same kind of mushroom?
Looks like someone took a nibble out of this one. The squirrels in my yard will occasionally eat mushrooms.
Who dropped these cream puffs among the lupine and clover?
These look a lot like Oyster Mushrooms, but I’ve always known oyster mushrooms to be growing on logs and this looks to be growing up through the ground, what looks like sandy soil.
In my first relationship when I was young, I would go mushroom hunting with my boyfriend’s mom. We would go up into the mountains around familiar burns scars from 2-4 years passed where plentiful Oyster, Chanterelles and Shaggy Mane. We often ate them breaded and fried.
Also, I must share this delightful book. What a great cover picture! The thought of it alone makes me smile. The contents of the book are excellent as well if you happen to find yourself with an interest in mushroom identification and hunting throughout the US and Canda.
My dear friend Patricia Lezam closes this post with heartfelt musings on the topic at hand.
These two mushrooms look alike. Probably one is older than the other. One little, one big. One thicker, one brighter. Similar species, they seem the same by the eye of a two-leg walker who is staring at them and standing still wishing she is one of them.
Last time she saw herself in the mirror she could not find her curves like the ones in the magazines. She felt sad and irregular, out of that world and its shape.
During her empty lifespan she kept wondering how to fit in, she struggled all her spores out until today.
She realized that she didn’t need a mirror. She just needed a walk, to find her reflection in these two mushrooms.
She felt complete in one stem and a big head full of ideas, creativity, fairy tales. A head to save her from bad weather, a head as an antenna to receive the energy of the universe and communicate with it.
She read once that mushrooms don’t have roots, but mycorrhizal associations. The mycelium’s role is to collect nutrients and water and keep the mushroom anchored to the earth. So she wished. She wished there was a root system underneath her humanity, in which everybody is unique but interdependent, knowing that we need each other. Knowing that we are all connected to each other in order to be, whether we see it or not, feel it or not.
Sometimes she believed that she did not need anything or anyone. A lone walker with nobody to bother and nobody bothering her. Then she understood, she knew that every little or big thing she does affects her surroundings, our roots, so she started to bother, then, it became a wishful longing, where her kin were like these mushrooms, rooted for eachother even without seeing, even without feeling it, just being. If we were like them, we would be a magnificent forest, diverse in colors, shapes, heights, breathing this same air that brings oxygen no matter body shapes or ranks, because in the mushroom life, there is no hierarchy.
So much room in this world for all of us, so much room in the head of these two mushrooms, and in her, and myself, and you. So much to give and love and live in awe and wonder.
This concludes our Mushroom tour. I hope you enjoyed it! As always, my love and gratitude to those of you that participated by providing pictures. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!