November Submissions: Mushrooms

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.

Mushroom Sculptures, Durham Botanic Garden, Durham England By Leslie Dawson

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:

Durham England By Leslie Dawson
Blickling England By IDV. Blog:

Redmond WA USA By Patricia Lezama. Blog:

Conks (aka Shelf Fungi or Bracket Fungi)

Found throughout the world growing on tree trunks and limbs, stumps, fallen logs, and sometime structural lumber.

Mushrooms growing on a weeping mango stump, Uganda, Africa By Jude Itakali Blog:

Conks on a stump, Riverside Park, New York, NY, US By Kerfe
Riverside Park, New York, NY US By Kerfe. Blog

Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum), Devon, England By Ms Scarlet. Blog:

Unknown Conk in Doylestown, PA US By Mistress Maddie. Blog:

Unknown Mushrooms

Mushroom Series, South Florida, US By Lisa Troute

Same kind of mushroom?

Unknown Mushroom in Blickling, UK By IDV Blog:

Ms Scarlet’s “Boring Mushroom” Devon, England. Blog:

Looks like someone took a nibble out of this one. The squirrels in my yard will occasionally eat mushrooms.

Unknown Mushrooms, Colorado US By Tracy Abell. Blog:

Who dropped these cream puffs among the lupine and clover?

Unknown mushroom, South Florida By Lisa Troute.

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.

Small Mushrooms on a log By Leslie Dawson. Blog:

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.

Redmond WA USA By Patricia Lezama. Blog:


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.

Patricia Lezama.

Little Mushroom Trail By Melanie Reynolds

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!

Fungi/Mushroom Photo Submissions – Extended

Hello Nature-led friends!

Let’s see if I can get this posted before I lose power! We are currently under a winter storm advisory with wind and snow.

My family (including myself) currently have the flu but are slowly recovering. Therefore, I’m extending the deadline for the Fungi/Mushroom Photo submissions.

New due date: Sunday December 4th!

Pictures to be posted the following day on Monday December 5th.

Thank you!

Photo Submissions

Email to:

Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.)

Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file

Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one)

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with the photo.

A Daisy in the Leaves

Daisy in the Leaves By Melanie Reynolds

Daisy would like to remind you to leave the leaves unless they create a safety hazard on your walkway or driveway.

Our human desire to meet perceived expectations of what “a nice yard” looks like often contributes to more harm than good. Your shrubbery does not have to be perfectly coiffed, nor does it need to be wrapped around a perfectly trimmed and unblemished expanse of grass.

We must undo the pragmatism of “overdoing it” when it comes to rakes, leaf blowers, chainsaws, loppers and pruning shears. Save your gas and your oil. Let the decomposers do their job. Let the moths settle into the leaves.

One of my favorite computer file folders is entitled “Moths etc.” with the etcetera being dragonflies, butterflies and bees. Beetles and arachnids get their own file folders because there are so many of them. I’m not very good at identifying moths I know what the green ones are and what a Swallowtail looks like, the others are just described by defining features.

A few of my favorite visitors:

Hawkmoth Moth, Family Sphingidae

Pero occidentalis, Family Geometridae

Green Emerald Geometrid(?), Family Geometridae

Campaea perlata, Family Geometridae

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), Family Papilionidae

And finally, this rare sighing on July 23, 2015 at 2:35pm (according to my photo metadata.)

A wayward traveler? Closest match found Purple King Shoemaker (Archaeoprepona demphon) from Mexico or Central America. Thank you for the special visit! Interestingly enough, I’d dreamt about a blue butterfly months before this one appeared on my doorstep. If that isn’t the universe’s way of slapping you with a side of mysterious meaning, I don’t know what qualifies then!

All of these pictures were taking on my front porch which is a popular gathering place for moths and butterflies. The porch is covered with a southeast sun exposure and dappled light through a cluster of mixed trees that provide a rich soft slope of humus and decaying leaves left mostly undisturbed.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans and anyone else who celebrates the day!

While the origin story of the holiday is a myth, the fact remains that for many of us the day has always been about spending time with family and being grateful for what we have. Nature offers a bounty of wonder for those who know where to look. Protect what we have with strength and humility. No mashed potatoes for the nihilists! (<-humor)


November: Fungi/Mushrooms Due: November 30th.

December: Nature at rest Due: December 31st.

Photo Submissions

Email to:

Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.)

Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file

Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one)

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with the photo.

Thank you!