Monday, September 20, 2010

Mushrooms in the Front Yard

When it rains and rains and rains, can a good thing come of it? Today I saw some fun results of this dreadful fall weather--mushrooms abound in our front yard--I counted 10 different kinds (although I could be mistaken because as the mushrooms mature, they change character). Here they are:

A postscript for those who want to know more: The last (10th) mushroom pictured is an Amanita muscaria, my favorite for its striking beauty and one which I'll be looking for daily in the next while. The 9th one is prolific in our front yard; I don't know how many there were or what they are called, so if you know, please comment. The 8th one is a sort of puff ball, and they are fairly common in our yard as well. The other mushrooms are much smaller, some quite small. Years ago we had boletus edulis, introduced to me by a knowledgeable woman from Eastern European who was searching for them under the birch trees of our street. We ate some ourselves! I have not seen them on my property for many years and probably will not because the birch tree in front of our yard was removed in 2007, which is where they like to live. I did see a large specimen in the next block last week. Perhaps some of the 10 types pictured could be safely eaten, but the last one is a poison. Mushrooms are most prolific in gardens of benign neglect, i.e., where no lime or fertilizer has been added and vegetation has been left to decompose.

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