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Fungi in the Mountains

Natural history9 of 9Local scenery - a bower bird's nest & bushland recovery after the firesSnow in the Mountains 2020
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    Posted 2 years ago

    IronLace
    (702 items)

    Fungi are one of my favourite things on this planet. For a start, they are a form of life which is neither strictly an animal or a vegetable (I can relate to that). They can be deadly poisonous or rare delicacies (truffles). They can look cute, weird, fanciful, scary, or downright grotesque. I love how they pop up overnight, like silent visitors going about their mysterious business, under cover of darkness, in gloomy nooks & crannies, rising from a rotting carpet of leaf litter or erupting on dead wood, in quiet explosions of life...but not as we know it.
    They are what the are, & they do what they do.
    Having lived in the Mountains for almost two years now, I've come to recognise the spots where they return each year. This year, they've arrived earlier...for despite the dry & scorching summer just past, the last couple of months have been consistently wet. So I looked back at last year's photos of the Amanita Muscaria that pop up under the crab apple tree on the grass verge out the front of my house, & saw that they dated from April 17. So almost a month's difference for this year's crop. Last autumn was very warm & dry by comparison to this year. Many of the trees are also losing their leaves much earlier.
    Fourth photo shows a species which I hadn't seen before in my garden, Hygrocybe miniata. These are extremely small, about the size of a push pin, but their vivid colour lends them a magnetic presence nonetheless.

    Comments

    1. Trey Trey, 2 years ago
      I love mushrooms :)
    2. IronLace IronLace, 2 years ago
      Many thanks, Trey - they are cool things for sure!
    3. racer4four racer4four, 2 years ago
      Fly amanita are such fairy tale fungi. Very cool, but I have never seen them here, only in he mountains. Maybe they need the cold
      I love the little reds too.
      It must be great your way now it's autumn, and even though I know the area is suffering, nice to not have the tourist hoards too.
    4. welzebub, 2 years ago
      When we lived in the Seattle area we used to get some like the first pic in our front yard.... They are really magical looking shrooms.... :-) When I lived in Bellingham, north of Seattle in my younger days, we used to go walk through cow pastures in the fall and collect bread sacks full of psilocybin mushrooms. Once we had a large quantity.... Like several lbs of them, we would have a house party and everyone that came would eat a small cup full of them at the door... :-0 Wild Days for sure....
    5. IronLace IronLace, 2 years ago
      Hi Karen, yes, this type of mushroom definitely needs a cold climate...I first saw them in NZ on the South Island...& in Bowral, & Tasmania.
      I have always had a "thing" for fungi...there was always some around the yard when I was a kid, there were so many old tree stumps & various fungi grew on & around them...fairy rings, puff balls, & the occasional stinkhorn.
      I think I've always enjoyed being close to the earth, as I could often be found scrabbling about on the ground & looking for interesting small things...I used to make little "artworks" out of sticks, seedpods, fallen flower buds, rocks, etc - arranging them in patterns & watching them be degraded & erased by the weather over time.
      Little did I know that at the same time I did this as a small kid in the 1970s - early 80s, it actually was a contemporary art movement - Earth Art, Environmental Art, Earthworks, being various terms for it...
    6. IronLace IronLace, 2 years ago
      Craig, that sounds like some wild parties...I have not partaken of the psychotropic variety (although a friend who visited last year noted that there were what looked like a certain type in my yard).
      However, I do enjoy the edible type very much though I only trust the ones I can buy in the fruit & veg shop! I love the Japanese fungi such as shiitake, which have so much flavour & texture. But black truffles are the best of all...I hope we can get some again this winter...the people whose farm we visited last year may have some to spare as the restaurant trade will be out of the picture for a while...
    7. IronLace IronLace, 2 years ago
      Oh, & back to you, Karen...I am not missing the tourist hoards in the slightest!
      I know that local businesses will be suffering (as they are everywhere) but some of the tourists are not very nice at all. They drop rubbish around everywhere despite there being plenty of rubbish bins, & stand in the middle of the Mall taking selfies (& almost getting run over). I also don't miss the supermarket being full of tour groups buying baby formula & vitamins...now it's just us locals making a mad dash hoping for basic supplies to be in stock...
    8. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 2 years ago
      I love hunting mushrooms! Where I’m from ( California Coast) we have Chanterelles , that grow all over the Canyon I lived in. Lots on my property, they are under Oaks and Sycamores. I have picked some the size of dinner plates! My Husband loved them, sautéed with onions. They are a delicacy in fancy restaurants.
      The first time my Brother took my up the mountain to his “secret spot”, there was a field of “orange”! It was beautiful....

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